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In separatist hubs, Union Ministers hold ‘public darbars’

Technology boost: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during the inauguration of new facilities at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Srinagar.

Technology boost: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during the inauguration of new facilities at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shripad Nayak meet locals, distribute welfare assistance and announce medical tourism schemes

In once separatist and militancy hubs, Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shripad Nayak presided over ‘public darbars’ (open interactions) in Srinagar and Baramulla on Thursday and distributed cash, baby kits and announced medical tourism schemes.

Wearing a pheran, a long traditional robe worn in winters, and a karakul, traditional cap, Mr. Prasad said he felt happy after meeting people in Baramulla, where three militants were killed in two separate encounters since August 5. He toured, otherwise considered sensitive part of the town by the security agencies, and sipped tea at the Lovely Restaurant in Baramulla and met 18 delegations of locals.

Talented students

“I was happy to see a smile on the faces of children. Students in Baramulla have talent enough to compete at the national level,” Mr. Prasad said, inaugurating an indoor sports stadium at a cost of ₹7 crore.

To connect with local students and women, the Minister distributed six laptops among those girl students who recently topped Class 10 and 12 examinations from the district. Cheques worth ₹40,000 each were presented to beneficiaries under the Marriage Assistance Scheme (MAS) and baby kits among the mothers under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.

Locals’ demand

During meetings with delegations, locals demanded establishment of a software technology park, introduction of law studies, establishment of mobile mini towers in border areas, construction of additional bunkers, creation of WiFi zones at tourist and educational centres.

Model district

Promising to make Baramulla a model district, Mr. Prasad unveiled the district logo, inaugurated a district web portal and e-inaugurated Bharatnet facility for 38 panchayat halqas.

In Srinagar, known for separatist-backed shutdowns, militant violence and street protests, Mr. Shripad Nayak met hundreds of locals at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the Dal lake.

He announced setting up of 50-bed hospitals at a cost of ₹12 crore in every district. “Gulmarg, Patnitop, Pahalgam hill stations would be promoted as AYUSH medical tourism destinations,” he said.

The Minister also e-inaugurated various projects in Srinagar, including heritage lighting, flood lighting system etc.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:41:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/in-separatist-hubs-union-ministers-hold-public-darbars/article30636661.ece

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