Under ongoing Centre’s outreach programme, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri is presently on 2-day visit to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. While talking to STATE TIMES, the Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri said, “I feel blessed to be in J&K on auspicious occasion of Durga Ashtami and I am looking forward to meet the people of J&K.” He added that that Government is adopting a whole new approach to remove silos besides creating a correct atmosphere for economic transformation of J&K. He assured people of Jammu & Kashmir a prioritized consideration and all possible assistance in all matters related to urban development. Talking about smart cities project, the minister said that PM Modi has a vision for it. “The initiative has become a revolution and everyone is contributing in making India clean. As a part of celebrations of 75 years of Independence next year, we are here to take feedback and suggestions from people regarding cleanliness in their cities,” he added Highlighting initiatives of PM to make people empowered, Puri said that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) 56,216 houses have so far been sanctioned out of highlighted demand for 79,331 houses. The construction work on 43,949 houses has started out of 10,810 have been completed, he added. He shared that an investment of Rs 3,157 cr with Central Assistance (CA) of Rs 860 cr has been approved for construction of houses under the mission. So far, Central Assistance amounting to Rs 326 cr has been released, he added.When asked about the status of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), Puri shared that out of total Mission allocation of Rs 140.44 cr for Jammu and Kashmir, a total of Rs. 96.32 cr (68.58 per cent) has been released. All 80 ULBs of Jammu & Kashmir have been certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF), he asserted.Minister for Housing, while talking about smart cities and Solid Waste Management project, shared that out of a total 1,085 wards in Jammu & Kashmir, 100 per cent Door to Door garbage collection is being practiced in 814 (75 per cent) wards. Source Segregation is being practiced only in 244 (22 per cent) wards against total of 1,085 wards, said Puri, adding that out of 978 TPD of waste generated in Jammu and Kashmir, 53 per cent of waste is being processed by UT.The Minister further said that the Prime Minister’s commitment regarding J&K’s development is going on in full swing. The Minister said that there are many schemes and projects under Housing & Urban Affairs and Smart City Project is one of them.Calling Smart City Project an ‘Urban Revolution’, he said that it is about providing urban services through technology and is comprised of Smart Traffic Management, Smart Security Management and many other facilities. He further informed that 3,500 Special Purpose Vehicles are going to be tendered soon.Regarding Gas pipeline, he said that it will reach Jammu by 2024. The Minister said that Swachhta Abhiyan succeeded because it became a Jan Andolan. In his message to people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Minister said, “We are with you and we are here to help you develop at a faster pace. We will address all your issues and don’t get surprised if these visits are a regular affair. These interactions will strengthen the bond between government and people. Our motive is to build trust among people of J&K that Govt is serious about development of J&K, that too at priority,” he maintained.
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