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Real estate summit on cards in Srinagar; tech survey of Gurdaspur-Jammu gas pipeline complete: Puri

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Jammu: Asserting that the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir has changed after the abrogation of Article 370, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said the technical survey on the 175-km Gurdaspur-Jammu gas pipeline has been completed.
A final decision on the prestigious project will be taken this month, he added.
The Union Minister of Housing, Urban Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas said the real estate summit is on the cards in Srinagar shortly after the successful first-ever such event in Jammu in December 2021.
Puri, who was here to highlight the nine-year achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government, said the petrol and natural gas regulatory board is evaluating the bids with regard to the Gurdaspur-Jammu gas pipeline project.

‘Opposition politicizing Odisha train incident’
Jammu: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday accused opposition parties of trying to take “political mileage” on the recent train accident in Odisha and said the response of the government to reach out to the victims was swift to save the previous lives.
He said the democracy in India is robust and no power can erode it, defending the Income Tax raids on BBC.
He said the “previous actions” of the broadcaster suggested that it was in the hands of the “people with agenda on India”.
Puri was in Jammu to highlight the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, which recently completed its nine years in power.
“My first engagement on reaching Jammu (on Monday) was a meeting with party workers. We observed a two-minute silence for all the lives lost and to pray for recovery of those injured in the train accident (on June 2),” the Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister told reporters at the BJP headquarters here.
Responding to a question about the opposition attack on the central government over the tragedy which claimed over 275 lives and rendered over 1200 injured, he said despite all the safety measures, something can go wrong which is part of human existence.
“What was your reaction is all that matters. The rescue teams were at the spot within minutes and Modi also reached there. Railway minister camped there for 36 hours, the health minister and another minister of state were also there,” Puri said, adding the government tried its best to help the victims and their families.
He said the damaged railway line was made operational within 51 hours but the opposition will not see all this as “they want to make a political point”.
“They should go for self-introspection as this was not the first that such accident had taken place. NSG commandos took 10 hours to reach Mumbai from Delhi despite the November 26, 2008 terror attack beaming live on the television,” the minister said.
On BBC’s admission of having paid lower taxes than its actual liability following IT raids on its headquarters in Delhi in February, he said some “intellectuals and misguided” people in the country start condemning without knowing the facts.
“We have people who are not able to differentiate between espionage and freedom of press. Our laws are completely transparent and if you had to pay a tax, the slabs are completely clear. When notice is served to those avoiding taxes, they start hue and cry,” Puri said.
The minister said he wants to assure the people that India is not only the largest democracy in the world but the country also has a robust democracy and “even if someone wishes, nobody can erode democracy in the country”.
He said he did not want to make a detailed comment on the BBC but its previous actions makes it clear that it was in the “hands of people with an agenda on India”.
Talking about the nine-year-achievements of the BJP-led government, he said the work is in progress to reclaim the cultural and historic legacy of the country and make it the world’s largest economy.
“Many of the schemes and projects conceptualised in 2014 are either completed or nearing completion. Those talking about price hike are missing many points including three core people living below poverty line and economically weaker sections who have been given affordable houses,” he said.
Puri also talked about the challenging situation in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, dry ration to 80 crore population, tap and electricity connections, making country defecation-free and cleanliness drives.
“We are a 3.83 trillion dollar economy and are bound to surpass two other powers, having 4.1 and 4.3 trillion economies, in the near future and become the third largest economy in the world,” Puri said.
He said by 2047 when India will complete its 100 years of independence, it will not only be a developed country but also free from colonial mindset.
On the recent action against wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the minister said he is personally very sympathetic to them as his wife and two daughters are also feminist.
“They were holding protest was not a problem at all and nobody stopped them. The day when the new Parliament was being inaugurated, they along with some political elements decided to move (towards the parliament). Senior officials tried to solve the issue,” he said.
Puri said section 144 CrPc was imposed there and when somebody breaks the law, action becomes necessary, he added.

Talking to media persons at BJP headquarters here, he said, “The technical survey has been done and financing (of the project) is underway. The final decision will be taken this month only”.
The pipeline will enhance the energy security of the region by facilitating the transportation of natural gas from Gurdaspur in Punjab to Jammu. It provides a reliable and cleaner energy source to meet the growing energy demands of these regions.
The minister said the gas pipeline in 2014 was about 14,000 km long. “We have set a target of 33,500 km and have already managed 23,000 km,” he said.

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