Article 370 abrogation anniversary: J&K progresses by leaps and bounds

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 (A) on August 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir ushered into inclusive development in tourism and other sectors.

In the past few years, the government has developed new tourist destinations, heritage/cultural sites, Sufism/religious sites and adventure treks/sites attracting potential for all four seasons in the areas of nature, adventure, pilgrimage, heritage and sports.

More areas of tourism like amusement, water parks, adventure (water sports, rafting, rock climbing, snow parks) and entertainment are being explored to attract more tourists.

Known for its tourism industry, Kashmir received a boom after the mega G20 countries meet on tourism was held on May 22-24 this year. The meeting caught the attention of international media with many of them highlighting India’s efforts for the restoration of stability and normalcy in Kashmir.

The removal of Article 370, 35 A, certainly helped in stabilizing the economy and protecting it from militant and separatist groups, thus allowing the region to draw in more investments. Jammu and Kashmir received 1.88 crore tourists in 2022, but it is expected to reach two crore mark this year, according to official data.

Special attention to youth has been given who deviated from their aims and objectives in life due to the influence of militancy. Officially, about 2.3 lakh young boys and girls were employed in 51004 units established under various Self-employment Schemes (SESs) up to January 2023.

Around 70,000 youth have been provided with livelihood generation means, directly or indirectly, by taking various initiatives under Mission Youth (MUMKIN, TEJASWANI AND PARVAZ). 78 new job-oriented trades have been introduced including heritage crops.

In Kashmir, boys and girls are more inclined to sports activities in all weather. According to the J-K administration, more than 50,000 young boys and girls have been engaged in sports and recreational initiatives.

In 5000 youth clubs constituted 1 Lakh active youth members. Noticeably, over 55 lakh youth participated in different sports activities during the year 2022-23.

The government recently decided not to issue Indian passports to those indulging in subversive and anti-India activities including stone pelting. The Criminal Investigation Department of the Jammu and Kashmir Police issued an order on July 31, 2023.

Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) 53 projects pertaining to 15 Ministries are being implemented at a cost of Rs 58,477 crores in various sectors such as Roads, Power, Health, Education, Tourism, Agriculture, Skill Development etc., out of which 25 projects have been completed.

1,193 projects worth Rs 1984 crores were completed, including 5 projects which were incomplete for more than 20 years, 15 projects for more than 15 years and 165 projects for more than 10 years.

In the development sector, the completion of Projects increased five-fold from 9,229 in 2018-19 to 50,627 in 2021-22, which is likely to touch 70,000 during 2022-23. According to figures available from the Ministry of rural development, 2,967 projects have been completed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, covering a distance of 17,798 km and connecting 2,096 habitations.

Jammu and Kashmir have once again secured the third position in terms of building road networks after Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, a significant development indicator after the abrogation of Article 370.

All habitations with a population of more than 1,000 as per the 2011 Census, were provided road connectivity in the 2021-22 fiscal. After the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, the union territory has improved its performance in terms of the length of roads constructed annually, moving up the rankings from 12th to third position for two consecutive financial years.

In Srinagar in April 2023, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said, “We are working on such a mission that in the coming three to four years, we will make the Jammu and Kashmir road network equivalent to that of America.”

Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Jammu Urban Division, 18590 are the approved beneficiaries out of which 4568 houses have been constructed, and PMAY (Rural), 131945 have been approved, out of which 80008 have been constructed in Jammu Division.

Under PM Jan Dhan Yojana, 2641995 accounts have been created in J-K of which 1192312 have alone been created in the Jammu division and under PM Ujjwala Yojana, 1316924 gas connections have been provided in J-K, according to official records.