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Omar Abdullah seeks Modi help for expansion of Kargil, air link to dist

PTI 12 Aug 2014, 18:22:51 PM IST
Kargil/Leh: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today took up the issue of vacation of land by the Army in Kargil to enable expansion of the township, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here.  

Flagging the issue of the urgent need of land for the expansion of Kargil town, Omar sought Modi's support to ensure the freeing up of that part of Khurbathong Plateau for the purpose which is at present under Army's use.

“Army can utilise whatever portion of the plateau it requires and the rest can be provided for the expansion of Kargil town, which is the need of the hour,” Omar said while welcoming the Prime Minister in Kargil on his day-long visit.  Modi was here to dedicate the 44MW Chutak power project to the nation.

“Prime Minister saheb, you have come in through Indian Air Force aircraft. But the people here suffer because of harsh winters and lack of connectivity,” Omar said as he requested that Kargil be put on the map of commercial airlines.  

Omar said that while Leh has some air connectivity, people in Kargil district are still bereft of such facilities.  As regards air connectivity between Leh and the rest of the country, Omar mentioned the costly fares being charged by the airlines and said that makes it impossible for the local population of Leh to travel outside during winters.  

Omar said he has time and again advocated with the Centre the need for special attention to be paid for making air tickets affordable for the people of Leh and putting Kargil on the map of commercial airlines.

Omar also thanked the Prime Minister for announcing full funding of Zojila Tunnel, and said the tunnel was the cherished desired of the people of Kargil.  

Meanwhile, praising the people of Kargil for their patriotism, Omar said that many attempts were being made to misguide the youth of Kargil but the people here refuse to fall prey to such vested interests.

Earlier in Leh, while welcoming Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the 220-kV Transmission Line and launch of the Nimoo Bazgo hydro power project, Omar praised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking up the two power projects as part of the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme (PMRP) and fully funding the same and enabling their timely completion.

Omar said that NHPC could not have completed these projects had former Prime Minister Singh not released adequate funds for these under PMRP.

He mentioned the high potential of solar energy in Leh region as also the tourist potential of the area. He said that in terms of solar energy potential, Leh was equal to Gujarat.  

Referring to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the J-K government and the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy when Farooq Abdullah was the minister, Omar said that was aimed at tapping 5,000MW of solar energy through various projects. He said it would provide a fillip to the economy of the region.