‘Startup ecosystem taking over from separatist ecosystem’
Change not only visible but people are feeling it
JAMMU, Mar 30: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said that security forces have gained upper hand over the militants due to good coordination among them and top commanders of all militant outfits have been eliminated in the Kashmir valley.
“Gone are the days when there used to be stone pelting in Kashmir. Now, schools and colleges are not closed. No bandh call is given at the behest of neighbour (Pakistan). Markets are not closed. The people too want schools to run,” Sinha said addressing the Rising India Summit organized by Network 18 followed by brief Question-Answer session.
Responding to a question on saboteurs within the administration, he quipped: “This is an old tradition. They are there, they have been there. Identifying and ousting them is an ongoing exercise”.
It may be mentioned here that the administration has sacked a number of Government officers/officials for their involvement in terror, separatist and other anti-national activities.
“The crime rate and militancy have witnessed a significant drop in Jammu and Kashmir and a start-up ecosystem is taking over from the “separatist ecosystem” earlier,” he declared.
The cinema halls have reopened. J&K Road Transport Corporation started night bus service and people can be seen enjoying Shikara ride in Dal Lake at late night hours as well, Sinha said.
“The common man in J&K is also dreaming like the citizens in the rest of the country. The youth are moving with new ambitions and it all happened because of the historic and brave decision of the Narendra Modi-led Government,” he said.
Maintaining that change in the ground situation is not only visible, but the people are also feeling it, the Lieutenant Governor said the tricolour will flutter on the rooftops of the houses in Jammu and Kashmir till eternity.
“The place which was known for other reasons like Pulwama (terror attack) sometime back witnessed 10,000 people rallying with the tricolour on August 13 and 14. That is a big change,” he said.
Reiterating that August 5, 2019 brought about a historic change for Jammu and Kashmir due to the strong willpower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sinha said this has allowed people from the region to dream and aspire like all other Indians.
“Following abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of the erstwhile State into two union Territories, J&K has witnessed massive improvement in agriculture and allied sectors, overall economy, infrastructure, security, women’s empowerment, employment generation, education, tourism, etc,” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor revealed that he has learnt the use of some Kashmiri words during his now nearly three-year term at the helm of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.
Responding to a question, he listed haak saag, lauki yakhni, and phirni as his favourite vegetarian dishes from the region.
“The people are feeling the change in Jammu and Kashmir post August 2019 and despite hindrances by some, we are nearing our goal to ensure the Union Territory is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a developed India by 2047,” Sinha said.
“Three years down the line (after the historic development), we are nearing our goal under the guidance of the Prime Minister. Some people do not want us to reach our goal but I have full faith that with the people’s support, we will reach there,” he added.
Asserting that his administration is working towards “full integration of J&K with the country” and ensuring peace, prosperity and development of the region, Sinha said: “We want J&K to be part of the Prime Minister’s dream which he has envisioned for India in 2047. We want the contribution of J&K to be not less than others”.
He said a total of Rs 14,000 crore investment had taken place in J&K before 2019 but after the launch of the new industrial policy by Prime Minister Modi, proposals worth over Rs 70,000 crore were received over the past three years.
The Lt Governor said the highest ever investment of Rs 1,547.87 crore was received during the last 10 months of this year, while 500 Startups have come up during the last three years with the youth of Kashmir coming up with new Startups on daily basis. Sinha said J&K has witnessed an economic growth of 14.64 per cent and tax revenue has also shown growth of 31 per cent.
“Compared to 12 lakh e-transactions per day last year, the first 80 days of this year recorded 19 lakh e-transactions every day. The change happened in a place where when I took over on August 7, 2020, 217 trucks were being loaded with files to move from Srinagar to Jammu (as part of bi-annual Darbar move),” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor said the highest number of 1.88 crore tourists visited J&K, which has been among top performers in the country for implementation of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Amrit Sarovar, SVAMITVA scheme and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
He said most of the Social Security Schemes have been saturated, while nearly 50 lakh youths have participated in different sports activities this year.
Under the Digital J&K initiative, Sinha said 445 online services are being provided through e-UNNAT portal, 225 e-services have been integrated with Rapid Assessment System for real time feedback on quality of service delivery.
All the online services have been linked with the Public Service Guarantee Act in J&K, he said.
Sinha said Jammu and Kashmir is the first among States/Union Territories to have a district good governance index for assessing the public service delivery at district level.
“Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme, Aspirational Block Development Programme and Aspirational Town Development Programme are the three new initiatives being implemented in J&K,” he said.
In 2018-19, 9,228 works have been completed and the number has gone up to more than 50,000 in 2021-22 and this year “we expect 70,000 works to be completed”, he said.
“This is the paradigm shift in the pace of development in J&K over the last three to four years,” he added.
The Lt Governor also talked about a holistic agriculture development plan to be rolled out, with 29 proposed projects at an outlay of Rs 5,012 crore over the period of next five years to improve the lives of farmers, create job opportunities and business enterprises besides improving production in different sectors.