Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad today reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir will soon witness a new dawn of peace and development as various measures are underway to ensure holistic development of J&K.The Union Minister made these remarks during his visit to Sopore area of Baramulla district today. This was the 2nd day of his visit to the North Kashmir's Baramulla district as part of the Centre's outreach programme.Prasad said that Union Government is committed to ensure holistic development of all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir adding that several economic sectors including horticulture, tourism etc shall be developed and upgraded on modern lines.Urging the people to cooperate in taking the region to new heights of development, the Union Minister said that time has come to change the fate of Kashmir through peace, progress and prosperity. He termed Kashmir as a real paradise on earth and assured that every step shall be taken to retain and preserve it. He stressed upon the youth to come up with new and progressive ideas pertaining to developmental concerns.While terming Sopore area as a hub of horticulture production, Prasad said that Fruit Mandi Sopore shall be developed as e-mandi wherein it shall be integrated with the rest of mandis of the country. He said that Sopore is best endowed with Apple tourism and it can play a larger role in the socio-economic development.He hoped that youth of district Baramulla take keen interest in sports activities and the need is to provide appropriate platforms so that their potential is channelized in positive direction. He announced that an Indoor Sports Stadium shall be soon developed at Sopore, terming it an effort towards upgrading sports infrastructure in the district.
Appreciating the role of BDCs and other PRIs in strengthening the grassroots democracy, the Union Minister said that 73rd and 74th amendments shall be effectively implemented to strengthen democracy.Later, the Union Minister met 10 deputations who appraised him about their issues and demands.A deputation of Federation of Industrial Estate Sopore demanded elevation of Sopore sub-division as a district. They also demanded construction of Mini-Secretariat in the town, Hi-tech ambulances for SDH Sopore, up-gradation of infra in schools and health institutions etc.Another deputation of Fruit Association Sopore demanded uninterrupted movement of apple ferrying vehicles on National Highway, compensation to orchardists whose property got damaged in recent heavy snowfall and during floods in 2014, exemption of KCC loans, establishment of testing lab for pesticides, establishment of truck terminal in North Kashmir and other issues of vital public importance.Other deputations who raised their grievances and demands included Traders Federation Sopore, various civil societies of the area, J&K Choppan Welfare Association, NYC Association Baramulla and other deputations.The Union Minister gave a patient hearing to the issues and demands raised and assured that all the demands shall be looked into for their time-bound redressel.Earlier, the Union Minister inaugurated various developmental activities which included 100m span Suspension bridge over Pohru Nallah at Seelu, Trauma Centre at Watergam, 33kv sub-receiving station at Rafiabad, several panchayat ghars in Ladoora, Panzlla and at other villages.He also laid the foundation stone of a road connecting Fruit Mandi Sopore to its peripheral areas.