Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma inaugurated Rs.1.80 crore Lift Irrigation Scheme (LIS) at village Balgara near here today.The LIS has been developed on the right bank of River Chenab and designed to discharge 10 cusecs of water through 1220 meter channel. The scheme has the potential to irrigate 150 to 300 hectare of land at village Balgara and other adjoining hamlets.Member Parliament Jammu-Poonch segment, Madan Lal Sharma was also present on the occasion.Addressing a large gathering of people after inauguration of LIS, the Minister said that Coalition Government accords top priority to boost agriculture production in the State and developing irrigation schemes at different potential areas is part of the measures initiated in this direction. He said agriculture is the backbone of State’s economy and all necessary steps are being taken to further promote this vital sector enabling the state to become self-reliant in agriculture production.
Congratulating the people for irrigation facility, the Minister said that Government has been giving focused attention to develop more and more schemes to bring maximum area under the ambit of irrigation in the kandi belt. He hoped that with the inauguration of scheme, the area will see the new era of development and prosperity. He asked the people to take full advantage of the facility and accelerate their agricultural activities and concentrate on the multi-cropping system to earn more profits. He said the belt is rich in cultivating vegetables and fruits and farmers must take advice of the departments of agriculture and horticulture about the innovative techniques and varieties which can help them to benefit in a big way. He said the Government has already set up a full-fledged fruit and vegetable mandi at Akhnoor to facilitate the farmers at their doorsteps.
Asking the people to maintain peace, communal harmony and mutual brotherhood, the Minister said that stability is must to ensure sustained development and prosperity, adding that some forces are trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the name of religion and castes, which has to be thwarted with full might by the people. He said such forces will intensify their efforts to disintegrate the society by luring the people with different kinds of sops, especially when electioneering is near. He asked the people to understand their negative propaganda and defeat their design and maintain peace and communal harmony at all costs, which is must for the pluralistic society of our great nation, said the Minister.
Listing to the development initiatives taken by the Coalition Government during the past over one decade, the Minister said that massive development has taken place in all vital sectors and change has been acknowledged by the people on ground. He said this could be possible with the liberal funding from the Central Government. He said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President, Mr. Rahul Gandhi have soft corner for the State of Jammu and Kashmir and have helped tremendously to rejuvenate the existing infrastructure. He asked the people to strengthen the hands of State and Central Government to ensure all round development of the State.
Madan Lal Sharma also addressed the gathering and highlighted the achievements of the UPA Government. He said Central and State Governments are working under a well-devised programme to ensure development of the Jammu and Kashmir and many welfare schemes have been launched for the poor and down-trodden people. He asked the people to avail benefits of such schemes.He congratulated the people for the facility of lift irrigation and hoped that the socio-economic profile of this dry belt will change. On the occasion, he asked the people to address people’s problems on priority. He asked them to implement all government schemes in letter and spirit so that the benefits reach out to the needy. Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sushil Aima, Chief Engineer, PHE, K.K. Gupta, sectoral officers of various departments, Sarpanchs, Panchs and prominent leaders of the area including Thakur Kamal Singh and large number of people were present on the occasion.