Efforts for AFSPA revocation will continue: Omar

‘PSA To Be Softened, Dialogue Started Through Interlocutors’


Jammu, Jan 25: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, on Wednesday vowed to continue efforts to get the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which provides impunity to soldiers operating in JK, revoked and assured people that Public Safety Act (PSA) would be softened.
In his R-Day address to the people on Doordarshan and Radio Kashmir, the Chief Minister said he has continuously advocated revocation of the laws which have been imposed in the state with the start of militancy. “Since there has been gradual improvement in the situation with the passage of time and the process of improvement is going on as such my endeavour would continue to work for revocation of these laws.”
He said his government was working on softening the provisions of Public Safety Act (PSA), which gives powers to police to detain a person without trial for 2-years, and a Bill in this regard will be tabled in the legislature.
On political issues the Chief Minister said his government has set in motion the dialogue process through Interlocutors who have submitted their report to the Central Government. He exuded hope that the Central Government would consider it positively.
Giving credit to people of the state for their valuable contribution in making 2011 year of peace and development, Chief Minister, sought their unabated support to his government in its efforts of realizing prosperous, tranquil and model Jammu and Kashmir.
“Considerable headway was achieved in 2011 on the fronts of – restoration of peace and curbing corruption – identified by my government as focal points of target for the year 2011,” he added.
“I had asked you to give me a year of peace I will empower you and accelerate the pace of development,” he said and referred to the conduct of free and fair Panchayat elections and enactment and implementation of Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA).
“My government conducted free and fair Panchayat elections and transferred financial as well as administrative powers to these democratically elected grass root institutions involving these in process of planning and development”, he said adding that services of about 14 departments have been transferred to the Panchayats. He said that the government has also ordered financial support of Rs One lakh to each Panchayat institution for undertaking smaller works in the Panchayat halqa. He said that the election to the Urban Local Body institutions would be held in March-April this year.
The Chief Minister said that one of the biggest achievements of his government is the enactment and implementation of Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) making Jammu and Kashmir one among the first few states to have such an vibrant public service delivery guarantee legislation in place. He said the Act has not only made government functionaries in 6 departments of Power, Water Supply, Housing, Transport, Revenue and Consumers Affairs and Pubic Distribution legally bound to provide the identified services to people within the prescribed time frame but also provided for punishing the erring officials for any laxity, delay or failure in providing the service within the period prescribed under the Act.
“My government has constituted State Information Commission and placed its head and members to make all government departments answerable for their every activity before the people. By this initiative my government has given power to the voice of people and made officers and functionaries of government departments answerable before common man. This has helped to make transparency and accountability to rule the roost in government functioning”, he said adding that reconstitution of State Accountability Commission and enactment of Vigilance Act were other important measures to restrict corruption and empower general public to get answers of their queries from the government functionaries.
“The third party monitoring and incorporating e-tendering are yet another significant measures to curb corruption and give fillip to the transparency and accountability”, he said adding that these initiatives are also aimed at removing bottlenecks in timeline completion of projects as per specifications and financial earmarking.
The Chief Minister said that as promised he has taken development process to all corners of the State in 2011 making it a year of faster development and progress.
He said the inflow of over 13 lakh tourists to Valley during last year, visit of 6.34 lakh pilgrims to holy cave shrine of Amarnath and pilgrimage of over one crore yatris to Mata Vaishno Devi contributed a lot to the economic activities in the State.
“The initiatives put in place by my government for political stability, peace and development have resulted into significant headway on all fronts”, he said referring to the constitution of Interlocutors institution and expressed the hope that the report presented by them would be positively considered.
Omar Abdullah said that the State Cabinet in its 26 meetings last year made 227 important decisions aimed at public good, development and good-governance. He said that his government approved Jammu and Kashmir State Forest Policy, Drug Policy, Energy Conservation Policy, Hydro Electric Development Policy, State Litigation Policy, Micro and Mini Hydel Projects Policy, Tourist Trade Act, etc. “The Cabinet also approved regularization of Rehbar-e-Zirat, In-charge Headmasters and In-charge 10+2 lecturers. My government approved arrears of 6th pay commission to employees and DA instalments”, he said.
Omar Abdullah said that under SKEWPY 30,000 young people have been provided voluntarily service while lakhs of youth of the state are being trained under ‘Himayat and Udaan’ initiatives to make them capable of getting jobs in the government and private sectors. “We have increased the micro credit loan for artisans from Rs 50,000 to Rs One lakh and subsidy on it from 5 percent to 10 percent”, he said.
“For the holistic development of agriculture and agriculturists my government launched various schemes including Saffron project for Kashmir and Kishtwar while Basmati and Rajmash (Kidney Beans) development schemes were put through for the plain and hilly areas of Jammu Division. We have also introduced seed replacement programme enabling agriculturists to cultivate better seed varieties for better yields”, he said adding that Kashmir Valley witnessed 13 percent increase in the production of maize while it was 20 percent in Jammu Division. The increase in rice production in Kashmir has been 6 percent and in Jammu 5 percent. Similarly, the production of wheat in Kashmir has increased by 6 percent and in Jammu by 10 percent. He said that besides initiating various measures for horticulture development, the State Government increased subsidy quantum on drip irrigation from present 50 percent to 90 percent.
Omar said that the production of milk in the state registered 6 percent increase while it has been 4 percent in case of mutton production. He said the production of day old chicken in government hatcheries has increased to 61 percent and under diary development programme 2000 new units have been established in the State.
The Chief Minister said that 12 new industrial complexes have been established in the State and the stipend to the trainees in handicraft sector has been increased from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500 per month while for higher trainings it has been raised from Rs. 200 to Rs. 700.
The Chief Minister said that his government succeeded in setting up two Central Universities one each in Jammu and Valley. “We also sanctioned 23 new degree colleges, 30 polytechnic institutes, 50 ITIs and 100 mobile schools besides opening several hundred primary schools and upgrading schools in hundreds”, he said.
Omar said that most of the in-patient and out-patient complexes in hospitals have been completed and the financial outlay for this sector has been raised from Rs 203 crores Rs. 333 crores besides providing 125 modern ambulances to the health institutions. “We have also opened new departments in SKIMS and Jammu Super Specialty Hospital is nearing completion. An additional block has been approved for Lal Ded Hospital Srinagar”, he said adding that befitting health coverage in rural and far-flung areas is the cherished target of his government and it would move on this direction with a commitment and determination during next 3 years.
The Chief Minister said that his government has constructed 200 new bridges and 500 new roads during the last 3 years besides macadamizing 8500 kilometres of roads. “My government constructed 309 new roads under PMGSY and connected 635 Bastis with Highways. We also approved Rs. 350 crore flyover projects for Srinagar and Jammu cities and completed Mughal Road project”, he said adding that his government commissioned 450 new water supply schemes and added one crore gallon drinking water to the system in Srinagar and 54 lakh gallon per day to the system in Jammu. He said that government is working on a mega project of supplying drinking water to the people of Jammu from river Chenab. “ADB funding is being roped for this project which would suffice drinking water requirement of greater Jammu till 2026”, he said.
Omar said that the power deficit is the third important issue after the security and unemployment in the State. “We have to incur recurring losses on the supply of electricity which were over Rs 2000 crores last year. We have to pull the State out of this grim situation and people have to help me in this direction”, he said adding that his government has taken bold decisions to catch the bull by the horns and make necessary dent in power sector both in the field of generation and distribution. “We have formulated a roadmap for generation of 6000 MWs of electricity during next 6 years besides improving the power supply transmission and distribution system”, he said.
The Chief Minister said that equitable and inclusive development of all areas of the State would continue to remain in focus during the next 3 years and his government would put in added efforts in this direction.
The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the Union leadership particularly Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister, P Chidambaram for the support to his government to tackle difficulties.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST

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