J&K: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Begins Centre’s Outreach From Srinagar; Announces Rs 16 Crore Under Himayat SchemeUnion Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi with locals in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar (Twitter/@naqvimukhtar)

Kickstarting the central government’s public outreach programme to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday (21 January) visited Srinagar, The Hindu reported.

The centre has begun to reach out to the people of the region months after its decision to abrogate the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that provided the erstwhile state of J&K with an autonomous status.

Naqvi visited several areas in and around Srinagar and attended a couple of development projects. During one such event, he announced central government had granted Rs 16 crore for J&K under Himayat programme.

“Under Himayat program, Rs 16 crore have been granted for Jammu and Kashmir and 12,000 young people have been trained. AIIMS are being established in Samba and Awantipora,” he informed.

The Minister for Minority Affairs , during his visit to the underdeveloped Dara pocket in capital city’s Harwan region, addressed a gathering of over 300 people and shared the union government’s vision for J&K.

“It is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that J&K too joins the development trajectory of the country. It was the termite of corruption that destroyed this paradise, with people only pursuing their personal gains. For decades, aspirations of locals have been ignored. However, the centre is for positive and effective change on the ground,” said Naqvi.

In order to connect with the local population, largely Muslims, the Minister assured them with a rise in the Haj quota for locals. “We ensure all the facilities are available to the Hajis,” he said.

Naqvi became the first union minister to visit the region under the outreach programme. During his tour, he also virtually inaugurated and laid foundation for various infrastructure projects, including a bridge over the river Jhelum at Malroo, built at a cost of Rs 16.53 crore and a high school building at Dara, coming up at a cost of Rs 97.01 lakh.

Assuring the locals, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said after the removal of Article 370, the centre wanted a “new dawn of development and accountability” in the government functioning in the Union Territory (UT) of J&K.

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