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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Omar seeks PM’s help in clearing Kargil of army to develop town

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Kargil, August 12, 2014
First Published: 19:42 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:45 IST(13/8/2014)

Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday raised pitch for vacation of security forces from the highlands of Kargil to allow the town to expand and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help in starting the commercial air service from there.

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"Kargil town is fast expanding and needs land to set up houses. I seek the Prime Minister's support for providing the part of Khurbathong Plateau. The army can utilise whatever portion of the plateau it requires and rest can be provided for expansion," said Abdullah, who made his speech in chaste Urdu.

He also asked the visiting Prime Minister to provide full support for expediting work on the Zojila tunnel, which will act as all-weather road for the region to stay connected with Kashmir and the rest of the country.

"The only connectivity of the area with the rest of the country is through the airlines, but Kargil district is still bereft of this facility and the most costly tickets debar general population of Leh to travel outside the area during winters. Next time, when the PM visits Kargil, it should not be a military plane but his own plane landing here. A commercial airline service is required too," he added.

Though the chief minister thanked the Prime Minister for announcing the full-funding of the Zojila tunnel, the chief minister mentioned the former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and praised him for including the two power projects in the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme (PMRP).

Praising the people of Kargil for braving war and cross-border shelling, Abdullah said, "Many attempts were made to misguide the youth of Kargil by the vested interests but they refused to fall prey to their designs," he said.

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