NEW DELHI: Development of Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and hilly states is the priority of the Narendra Modi government, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Monday.
Singh said this at the foundation stone laying ceremony and inauguration of multiple national highway projects in the northeastern state of Manipur.
At the virtual event, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones of Rs 3,000 crore worth of highway projects.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh was also present.
Soon after assuming office in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that peripheral states and territories would get due attention so that they were brought up at par with other developed regions of the country, Jitendra Singh said.
The Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and the hilly states are the Modi government's priority and the message should go out loud and clear that these territories would continue to receive the same amount of attention even in the second term of the Modi government, as they had received in the first term, he said.
He said the Prime Minister had himself visited the Northeast around 40 times in the last six years, which is more than the total number of visits made by several Prime Ministers in the past.
As far as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is concerned, in the first term of the Modi government itself, Gadkari had in one go announced for Northeast road and bridge projects worth several thousand crore rupees, he said.
The projects accomplished in the first term of the Modi government include the famous Bhupen Hazarika Bridge over the Brahmaputra river, said Singh, the Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
At the same time, he recalled that it is the Modi government which initiated the process of creating inland waterways for alternative and cost-effective connectivity.
As far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, Singh said, several monumental road and bridge projects had been accomplished in the last six years.
These include Asia's biggest state-of-the-art Nashri-Chenani Tunnel, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister and is the first-ever project of its kind in India to be named after Syama Prasad Mookerjee, he said.
Jitendra Singh said in his own Lok Sabha constituency Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, he is witnessed to several road projects for which there was a public demand for several years.
These include Kidiyan-Gandyal Bridge, also and a new national gighways like Chenani-Marmat-Sudhmahadev and Lakhanpur-Basohli Bhaderwah, he said.