Press Trust of india

Culture, land and property of Ladakh provided absolute constitutional protection: Naqvi

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Leh: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday said Ladakh is the “pride of India” and the people, their land and culture have been provided “absolute constitutional protection”.

Addressing public meetings at Chushot Yokma, Chushot Shama, Chushot Gongma, Phyang Chushgo and Phyang Thangnak in Leh-Ladakh for the upcoming elections to the Hill Council, Naqvi said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is committed to protecting the “Pride of India” and ensure prosperity of the people of Leh-Ladakh.

During his public meetings, Naqvi informed people in detail about the benefits of Ladakh becoming a Union territory.

“Post the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, the rights of the people of Leh and Kargil regarding trade, agriculture, employment, culture, land and property have been provided absolute constitutional protection,” the Union minister said.

Naqvi said “massive development activities are being carried out after Ladakh became a UT with the people, especially the youth of Leh and Kargil, provided with ample opportunities for better education and employment.”

Naqvi said the abrogation of Article 370 has demolished the “speed breaker” of redundant laws which had obstructed the development process in Ladakh.

“Now, the region of Leh, Ladakh and Kargil are also getting benefits of various socio-economic and educational empowerment schemes of the central government,” he said.

“With the scrapping of Article 370, it has removed the political and legal obstacles in development of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and the UTs are witnessing significant development along with other states of the country,” the minister claimed.

Naqvi said that recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the world’s longest highway tunnel — Atal Tunnel — in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh’s Manali.

“The 9.02 km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall. The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 km between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

“Atal Tunnel is going to be a lifeline for a large part of Himachal Pradesh as well as the Union Territory of Ladakh and would reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 3 to 4 hours,” he said.

Naqvi said that now parts of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh will always be connected with the rest of the country and would witness faster economic progress.

Farmers, horticulturists and youth will now also have easy access to the national capital of Delhi and other markets. Such border connectivity projects will also aid the security forces in ensuring regular supplies to them and also in their patrolling, he said.

Naqvi said that following the abolition of Article 370, “more than 75,000 youth of Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Ladakh-Kargil have been provided employment oriented skill development training with 50 new colleges being set up; 25,000 seats added in existing colleges. Lakhs of students have been provided various scholarships while a new medical college, an engineering college and a National Skill Training Institute is also being established in Ladakh.”

Naqvi said the process has been started to fill vacant government posts with more than 35,000 school teachers having been regularised while more than Rs 500 crore has been allocated for construction labourers, Pitthuwalas, street vendors and women for different economic activities.

“Steps have also been taken to make Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Ladakh-Kargil an investment hub. The Global Investor’s Summit has generated an investment worth Rs 14,000 crore,” he added.

Naqvi said “the entire population of Jammu-Kashmir, Leh-Kargil has been provided health insurance with more than 30 lakh people provided benefits under the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme; 17 special COVID hospitals and 60,000 beds have been created during the coronavirus pandemic; about 2.5 lakh people of Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Laddakh have been facilitated to return to their homes during the pandemic.”

The Centre has initiated several administrative, land and reservation reforms as 164 laws of Jammu-Kashmir have been scrapped and 138 laws have been amended, 890 laws of the Central government implemented.

Amendments have been brought in for reservation in government jobs ensuring maximum people get benefits, he claimed.

Around Rs 6,000 crore has been given for various development schemes in Ladakh with Leh connected to the national power grid after the Srinagar-Leh transmission was started. (With PTI inputs)

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