Srinagar- Days before the fourth anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A), Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that end of street violence & strike calls and citizens living their life in a free environment are the biggest achievements in last four years in the Union Territory of J&K.
In an interview with DD News, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha enumerated several achievements on security and developmental fronts and said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the Government of India took a bold decision on August 5, 2019 which abrogated Article 370 and 35(A).
“During last four years the J&K has seen a massive reformation at grassroots level. Street violence by few elements has ended; strike calls by separatists, terrorists and Pakistan is a passé. Besides a common man is living his life in a free environment. These are the major achievements of last four years,” LG Sinha said.
Moreover LG said during this period, “two AIIMS, two cancer hospitals, seven medical colleges, IIT, IIM, NIFT, highway’s and tunnel projects worth 1.50 lac crore rupees have been executed”.
LG Sinha further said, “There was a time when people were rushing home before sunset due to fear of terrorists however today shops remain open till late hours, youth enjoy music and elders take a stroll on the banks of Jhelum. This all has restored the confidence of common masses on the government”.
When asked how UT administration ensured the change, LG Sinha said that changes happened due to better coordination among security agencies. “The UT administration set a goal that peace will be established not bought”. He said poorer sections were the worst hit of terrorism who suffered a lot in past years.
On the increase in tourist footfall in the UT, the LG Sinha said 1 crore 88 lac tourists visited J&K last year, resulting in opening of avenues of livelihood for hotels, taxi wala’s, shikara wala’s, etc. This gave a boost to J&K economy however few mischievous elements were trying to run parallel economy in past to nurture militancy and separatism which however wouldn’t be allowed today.
On dynasticism and corruption, LG Manoj Sinha said the J&K administration has set parameters for transparency and performance. “J&K is performing well and is not less than any UT or State across the country. J&K is No. 1 at UT level on E-Governance. We have put over 450 services online. Public Service Guarantee Act has been implemented with an aim the common man to avail facilities of schemes on time,” he said and added, “When I resumed office there were 9229 projects done but today we have completed 92600 projects which means there is 10 times more improvement on developmental front”.
“Three-tier Panchayati Raj System has been implemented. Recently G20 Tourism Working Group meeting was held with massive participation of delegates and common people. Post meeting, foreign countries have decided to lift ban on Kashmir travel. 32 to 33 thousand elected representatives are deciding and supervising developmental works. Today payment of works is not being done by treasuries till photographs of works done are not sent to the concerned desk,” LG Sinha said.
Replying on ‘Land to Landless’ scheme, LG Manoj Sinha said the PMAY scheme is already in place like Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand where land has been reserved only for locals. “Same has been implemented in J&K. Non-domiciles of J&K cannot purchase agricultural land in J&K. However when I say there will be investment for industries, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions etc then we have to keep this thing in mind such infrastructure will not be built in the sky. It will come up on land. This decision has been widely hailed by people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
“Under PMAY we have been given 199500 houses to those who don’t have their own shelters. Out of the number 2711 eligible applicants have approached us who have been given 5 Marla’s of land. I believe such decisions shouldn’t be seen through political viewpoint. Those used government land in past and considered it their own property should understand that time has changed. PM Narendra Modi has made poor, farmer and unemployed empowered throughout the country and J&K has been a part of this initiative,” LG Sinha added.
He said that our industrial policy is far better than other parts of the country. “We are giving heavy incentives. I feel glad to say that J&K UT has received 80,000 crore plus offers of investment. I hope 75,000 crore investments will surely come in future,” he added.
He continued that over 28000 government jobs were given to youth in last three years. “There are already more people in government services in J&K as compare to other UT’s and States of the country. The investment will open gates of employment. The UT administration has taken up several measures for youth to rehabilitate them under different schemes. J&K has set up exclusive department Mission Youth J&K for this purpose. Those youth who want to stand on their legs must approach Mission Youth J&K for setting up their own enterprises,” he said.
About Kashmiri Pandits, the LG Sinha said the J&K government is trying its best to resolve their problems. “There was a scheme of 6000 jobs and 6000 houses for Kashmiri Pandits. It was a conspiracy to keep KP’s out of job and shelter by past governments. But we have almost filled these vacancies. Also for 6000 houses the land has been allotted and the work is in the advanced stage. The UT administration has constructed 1700 to 1800 residential houses for KP’s and more houses will come up in coming months. By next year the KP’s will be provided houses under the allotted quota,” LG Sinha said.
He said we have deputed special officer for KP’s in our office besides district level officers have been appointed at all districts across J&K to address their concerns. “The UT administration is in touch with the community. Their demands like relocation to safer places, promotions etc are being addressed. We have taken it as a top priority of the government. Further many schemes for their welfare and rehabilitation are in the pipeline. Furthermore Kashmiri Muslims also feel that Kashmir Pandit’s are part of Kashmir,” he held.
To a query, LG Sinha said Kashmir was famous for film shooting in 80’s but in a well thought out plan this industry was badly hit by terrorists. “Today movies are being filmed in tourist destinations. The cinemas are being opened across Jammu and Kashmir. The administration is augmenting infrastructure to boost tourism industry in J&K,” he continued.
When asked about statement made by PDP President Mehbooba Mufti over termination of employees, LG Sinha said those got government jobs with the help of militants will be thrown out uncompromised. “Our great leaders have made a provision 311 (c) which defines the services of any person who will prove a threat to state and its security will be terminated. And I don’t know why few people are feeling bad in it,” LG Sinha said.
On assembly elections, the LG Sinha said that UT administration is fully geared up for elections but it is up to Election Commission of India (ECI) who has to take a call on it. “There were several measures required for paving way to hold assembly elections in the UT. Delimitation and revision of voter lists are done. Few people are trying to gain political mileage out of it but it is ECI who has to announce the schedule,” he added.
“Union Home Minister in the Parliament had announced that first delimitation, second election and third statehood. Those taking constitutional positions in the country should know the worth of commitment made from the Parliament,” he further added.
On Amarnath Yatra the LG Sinha said the pilgrimage is beyond a religious Yatra and exposes culture of Jammu and Kashmir. He said 3.20 lakh Yatri’s have paid obeisance at the holy cave in last 23 days. He said the figure duggests that 83000 more Yatri’s have performed pilgrimage in last three weeks as compared to previous years. “Every section of the society particularly Kashmiri Muslims have cooperated much in the Yatra. It gives a boost to local economy. Yatri’s are brand ambassadors of J&K. This year foreign visitors also performed Yatra. I congratulate everyone for their contribution and making Yatra a successful.__Kashmir Observer