The delimitation issue in J&K was also discussed at the meeting as Assembly elections will be held only after the delimitation exercise is completed.
New Delhi: The Central government is going in for a major push on infrastructure development and implementation of various Centrally-sponsored schemes in the two newly-created Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, both of which will come into existence from October 31 this year. Union home secretary A.K. Bhalla met top officials from at least a dozen ministries on Tuesday, directing them to prepare an elaborate blueprint for development and other schemes, with specific deadlines, for the two new UTs. The delimitation issue in J&K was also discussed at the meeting as Assembly elections will be held only after the delimitation exercise is completed.
Senior officials from key ministries like finance, water resources, communications, minority affairs, power, railways, health, industry, agriculture and defence took part in the meeting. It is believed the Centre could soon announce a special package for development activities in the two UTs.
Officials claimed that both the Centre as well as the local administration had identified at least 85 Central schemes which would be implemented both in J&K and Ladakh in the coming days. Prior to the revocation of Article 370, some of these schemes could not be implemented in J&K. A team of senior minority affairs ministry officials is already visiting the two UTs to identify the projects to be rolled out there, and teams from other ministries will also visit the two regions soon for a similar exercise.
“The Centre is keen that all schemes and programmes to implemented in the two UTs should be done within a stipulated time-bound manner. The deadlines will be very important and the idea of today’s meeting was to sensitise all ministries about this. The inter-ministerial team was also directed to ensure that all provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, which led to the creation two separate UTs, should be fully implemented,” a senior official said.
The Centre is working closely with the J&K administration, which has constituted three separate committees to examine various issues like the transition of J&K from state to UT, allocation and distribution of funds and division of different assets, including staff, between J&K and Ladakh.
Though the meeting chaired by the home secretary largely focused on development and implementation of schemes in the days ahead in J&K and Ladakh, sources said the home ministry was also closely monitoring the security situation in the Valley.
Security officials claimed that apart from 40 political leaders, including three former chief ministers, more than 1,100 stone-pelters had also been detained as a precautionary measure. A decision on releasing them will be taken depending on how the situation pans out in the Valley over the next few weeks, officials said.