STATE TIMES NEWS
SAMBA/KATHUA: Union Minister, Dr. Jitendra Singh said here on Saturday that the Modi government gave border people not only development but development with dignity, both of which had been denied to them by successive governments in the past in spite of their exemplary role as the first line of defence for India.Addressing a series of meetings in the border areas of Samba and Kathua districts, Dr. Jitendra hailed the people living in the border areas and said, they are round the clock and throughout the year always standing as a wall against continued aggression and assault from Pakistan.But, in the past, whenever there was an episode of firing across the borders, they had to run helter-skelter and find refuge wherever available, sometimes in a Panchayat Ghar, a government School or in somebody’s house.It is only under the Modi Government, he said, that a dignified option was worked out and decision was taken to construct “Family Bunkers”, which could offer shelter in such a situation and also provide respectable facility of living room, toilet, kitchen, etc.Lashing out at the earlier governments, Dr. Jitendra said, an inhuman injustice had been inflicted on the youth by giving reservation to people living along LoC because that was the vote bank of National Conference (NC) and Congress, but denying the same to the people living along the International Border (IB).In the last three years, this anomaly was done away with and rising above vote bank considerations, similar reservation has also been provided to the youth living on the International Border, he said.Dr. Jitendra said, border area is crucial from strategic point of view as well as from the point of view of agriculture activity, yet there was lack of road connectivity which caused a lot of hardship.It is only during the last six years, he said, that construction of nearly a dozen bridges and roads in the interior areas has been undertaken, which has come as a big relief to the people living here.It was only after 2014, said Dr. Jitendra, that the salary of the SPOs which was meagre Rs. 1500 earlier, was hiked manifold and raised to Rs. 18,000 in order to ensure adequate livelihood and also to provide dignity to the SPOs.Similarly, he also referred to the enhancement in insurance amount for the victims of cross border firing and also insurance cover for the cattle.In keeping with the Modi government’s commitment to improve income of farmers, several specific benefits for the farmers have also been planned, he added.
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