Addressing a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament at the start of the budget session, Kovind said at the “Amrit Kaal” of independence, the Centre’s resolve of “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” (one India, greatest India) is enabling the country to write a new chapter of development on the basis of democratic values and it is now making special efforts for the states and regions “hitherto left neglected”.
“The beginning of a new era of development in Jammu and Kashmir and the Ladakh region is a great example of this,” he said.
The president said the government has started a new central sector scheme for the industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of about Rs 28,000 crore.
Last year, the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel was opened to traffic and international flights between Srinagar and Sharjah have also started, he pointed out.
“Many important steps have also been taken to provide better opportunities for education, health and employment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Kovind said.
He said currently, work is in progress on seven medical colleges and two All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) — one in Jammu and another in Kashmir. The construction of IIT, Jammu and IIM, Jammu is also going on in full swing.
Kovind said the Sindhu Infrastructure Development Corporation has been set up to accelerate infrastructure and economic development in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Another chapter in this development journey of Ladakh is being added in the form of Sindhu Central University, he said.
Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was scrapped on August 5, 2019 and it was bifurcated into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Both the Union territories are currently under central rule.