Shah reviews security, development of J&K with focus on Shri Amarnath yatra

Home Minister Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha at high-level security review meeting in New Delhi on Friday.
Home Minister Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha at high-level security review meeting in New Delhi on Friday.

Calls for benefits of package to all refugees in UT

Ensure gains of Industrial Policy to SSIs

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, June 18: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today held high level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with major focus on annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas which, as per an earlier announcement by Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB), is scheduled to start on June 28, and stepping-up anti-militancy operations which have taken a hit during second wave of COVID pandemic in the Valley.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, J&K Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Principal Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director Arvind Kumar, RAW chief Samanta Kumar Goel, CRPF Director General Kuldeep Singh and some other senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), paramilitary forces and Intelligence agencies attended the meeting, held in New Delhi, which assumed significance as it comes close on the heels of just 10 days left for start of Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage going by the schedule announced by the SASB before second wave of the COVID pandemic set in.
In a brief chat with reporters in New Delhi, Sinha said a decision on Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage will be taken soon.
“I have already said saving people’s lives is most important. Taking in view the COVID pandemic, we will take decision (on the pilgrimage) shortly,” he added.
Sinha said Jammu and Kashmir has performed better on all parameters and the Home Minister stressed on further improvement.
“All aspects of security situation, however, came under review during the high-level meeting which was third in the Union Home Ministry exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir in past 13 days,” sources told the Excelsior.
On June 5, the Lieutenant Governor and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla had reviewed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir while the next day, Amit Shah had discussed the prevailing scenario with Sinha. The Lieutenant Governor had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As per the sources, the Government and the SASB could shortly announce a decision on whether to go ahead with annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji or not. And, if the yatra has to be held what would be the number of pilgrims permitted per day and COVID protocols to be followed by the yatris.
As per the earlier schedule announced by the SASB, the annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji was scheduled to start on June 28 and last till August 22 totaling 56 days. Registration for the pilgrimage had started through various Banks across the country on April 1 but was stopped on April 18 because of COVID pandemic.
Apart from the annual pilgrimage, the Union Home Minister is also understood to have discussed security situation across Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley and need to intensify anti-militancy operations which have taken a hit during past couple of months due to COVID.
An official statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs after the meeting said Shah directed the Jammu and Kashmir Government to ensure benefits of refugee package to all refugees from Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK), West Pakistan and those who had to migrate from Kashmir at the earliest.
He impressed upon speedy completion of the Prime Minister’s development package, flagship and iconic and industrial development projects.
Shah reviewed various development projects of J&K with the motto “Development with Transparency” enunciated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah said all-round development and welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is the top priority of the Modi Government. The Home Minister appreciated the 90 percent reach of the Central Government’s schemes in J&K. Simultaneously, he congratulated the Lieutenant Governor and his team for the COVID-19 vaccination drive being 76 percent in Jammu and Kashmir and 100 percent in four districts.
Shah called for completion of many other development schemes including the Prime Minister’s Development Package and industrial development projects at a fast pace. He also directed for starting the 3000 MW Pakal Dul and Keeru hydroelectric projects and fast tracking other 3300 MW power projects in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
For strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies, the Union Home Minister directed the officials to immediately organize training for the members, making proper sitting arrangements for them and providing equipment and other resources to the personnel for smooth functioning of these bodies.
Apart from this, he also directed the Panchayat members to visit various parts of the country, so that they can get information about the working of developed Panchayats of the country.
The Union Home Minister stressed on increasing the scope of MGNREGA to provide employment to more and more people. At the same time, he spoke about the use of modern techniques in agriculture to increase the income of the farmers and to set up at least one agro-based industry in each district.
He also said that work should be done to increase the quality and density of apple production in Jammu and Kashmir, so that apple growers will receive maximum price for the crop.
Shah directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure that all farmers are provided benefits of schemes being implemented for farmers, such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana, under which Rs. 6000 is deposited annually directly into the accounts of farmers and Kisan Credit Card Yojana, etc.
“It should be ensured that the benefits of the industrial policy reach Small Scale Industries (SSIs),” he directed.
The Union Home Minister appreciated efforts for providing employment to youth and institutional reforms like geo-tagging of all development works that are put in public domain, purchasing through Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and direct deposit of money into bank accounts of almost hundred percent beneficiaries of Gram Swaraj, social security and other individual beneficiary schemes by the Jammu and Kashmir Government.