The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh disclosed that approximately ten acre of land has been acquired for bringing up the first- ever Biotechnology park in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. This land was acquired by Science & Technology Department at Gaati SIDCO Phase-III Industrial Complex in district Kathua about 10 km proximal to Kathua town on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway. Dr. Jitendra Singh had been actively following up the project and got it approved during his tenure as Union Minister for Science & Technology. The work on the project will start in the next few weeks.
This will be Govt of India`s second mega project to come up in Kathua close on the heels of Keedian-Gandyal bridge sanctioned by union Surface Transport Ministry at the initiative of Dr Jitendra Singh.
Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that, he had, as Union Science & Technology Minister, simultaneously moved a proposal for a Biotech park in Srinagar as well but that project has got delayed because of certain issues related to land acquisition. This Elaborating on the project, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the Biotech park in Kathua will be brought up at a total cost of about Rs.80 crore. The work on the project will be carried out in three phases and the first phase will cost around Rs.23 crore on which the work will be completed in about 3 to 4 years, he added. The subsequent phase-II and phase-III will be carried out in quick succession thereafter, he said.
Highlighting the importance of an Industrial Biotech park in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, this will help catalyze development of the region by augmenting revenues, increasing employment opportunities and promoting industrial culture as well as agricultural productivity. This will in turn contribute to overall socio-economic growth of the State, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, Indian biotechnology is one of the fastest growing areas and is expected to play a vital role in shaping the overall economy of India during the next two decades. In this context, he said, the Biotech park at Kathua will have a unique place in the economic growth of India considering the fact that exclusive variety of plant species can be cultivated here because of conducive climatic and other related factors. The Industrial Biotech park in this area would thus entail direct as well as indirect employment and income generation for the youth. The Industrial Biotech park in Jammu, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, will also promote research based entrepreneurship and development of biotech industry.
Outlining some of the salient activities envisaged in the proposed Biotech park in Kathua, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, for research purposes there will be a Biotech Information Centre as well as pilot scale units for micro propagation and medicinal plants extraction. In addition, there will also be a training cell and a business support facility cell, he added.