Today, J&K is witnessing a new zeal and a positive sentiment across all walks of life. However, this was not the case almost around 2 years back. The region of Jammu & Kashmir had a generic sense of oppression running across its administrative demeanor as people centric initiatives never saw the light of the day.
Extremism and terrorism sponsored by Pakistan had crippled the administrative & government systems and democracy had only become a namesake attribute for the people of J&K. Though the people of Kashmir always advocated oneness and encouraged cohesiveness where different schools of thought and religion could flourish in togetherness; the vested interests of some self-minded so-called religious bigots have instilled a sense of fear and unrest into the society.
Every season of tourism which is one of the biggest revenue driver for the people of J&K was marred with violence that was aided by Pakistan. The attempts made by Pakistan to destabilize J&K has had a far-reaching effect of devastation and gloom over the Kashmiris thereby restricting their progress and upliftment.
More so the worst scenario that was witnessed was that the well-wishers of the Pakistan that harbored terror and anti-national activities were given perks, jobs, and financial aid by the earlier erstwhile J&K governments. Therefore, these anti-national elements who were the associates of the Pakistani terror elements were seeded deep into the ranks of the earlier governments.
The silver lining now is that these anti-national elements have been cleansed from the administrative machinery due to the recent efforts of the J&K Government and the CID Wing of J&K Police, thereby, ensuring that the funds of the Government of India are used for the betterment of the people of Kashmir and not for anti-national elements.
The situation of hopelessness, gloom & economic retardation was infused with a spirit of hope and rejuvenated with a sense of enthusiasm when our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi sent out the message of “Oneness & Unity” on 5th August 2019. The decisions and actions taken under his leadership made it clear to Pakistan and the entire world that the people of Jammu & Kashmir will not bear any more violence & atrocities laying their head down but would rather turn around and stand tall at the face of the selfish interests and despicable agenda of the Pakistan, whose only motive is to destabilize Jammu & Kashmir.
5th August 2019 was the day when the people of Jammu & Kashmir experienced “Freedom” in the real sense of the term and were liberated.
The historic decisions made on 5th August 2019, not only brought about constitutional changes, but opened the doors to a lot of development opportunities, progress, and happiness for the people of Jammu & Kashmir as they were now connected with the rest of the country thereby, being an integral part of all the initiatives led by Centre.
This has been beneficial in bringing Jammu & Kashmir to the mainstream. Some of the noteworthy achievements across the sectors are as follows-
There was a special category launched under the head “Languishing Projects” to specifically focus on projects which were commenced by the previous governments that ruled J&K, but never saw completion.
During the years of 2015 to 2019 there were around 7000 projects that were launched and initiated which never yielded any results and they basically served the purpose of favoring or benefitting a certain section of contractors monetarily.
These projects were stalled and halted after the initial investments were made. However, it was the administration of LG Manoj Sinha that ensured that these projects got completed and drove home the objective and benefits with which they were launched.
Since 5th August 2019, there were 890 Central Laws applied with a retraction of around 205 state laws and 130 laws were modified for the betterment of the people and were redeployed.
Job representation for the weaker sections - OSC Reservation Benefits were increased from 2% to 4% followed by Residents of International Border and LoC getting 4% reservation benefit which is a rise of 3% from earlier numbers. Backward Classes Reservation benefit also witnessed an income ceiling raised from INR 4.5 lakhs to INR 8 lakhs. Reservation in assembly seats was provided for STs as per the Constitution.
Jan Abhiyan (“Back to Village”) – This project saw immense success with over 5 lakh certificates issued (Domicile, Death /Birth, Category and disability etc.) along with over 70,000 Ration cards Aadhar Seeded.
About 50,000 families were covered under Health Insurance schemes (Ayushman Bharat/Sehat). We also had around 19,000 loan cases (Rs.372 crore) identified for financing during the programme while having 15,200 cases sanctioned during the initiative. Nearly 4600 women entrepreneurs found inclusion in this project which speaks volumes of the inclusivity the project has driven.
Elections to Block Development Councils were held for the first time in the history of J&K on 24th October 2019 with a voter turnout of 98.3% in which 276 Chairpersons were elected.
Hydropower & Power Distribution – Power potential of 20,000MW to be realized with 3000 MW capacity projects (INR 22628 crore) was given a new lease of life and MOUs for another 4674MW capacity was signed which amounted up to INR 34882 crore. J&K achieved 100% household electrification under SauBHaGYa before the target date, 3,57,405 beneficiaries were covered.
Water to every home initiative - 18.16 lakh rural households of J&K (100%) to have Functional Household Tap Connections by March 2022, wherein 2 districts are already saturated, and 11 more districts will be saturated by March 2022. To drive the rigor, 4000 “Paani Samitis” were constituted to ensure that the right steps are taken to provide water to genuine recipients or the needy.
Development Projects – There were 54 projects approved with a budget of INR 56,261 crores. Projects that were completed include Rambagh Flyover, Qazigund-Banihal Tunnel and Jhelum Flood Mitigation Project. Functioning of IIT Jammu from their own campus started and work on AIIMS Jammu also commenced. The construction of Ring Road for Jammu is planned to be completed by March 2022.
Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project which would cost around INR 1327 crores with a height of 359 metres is scheduled to be completed in 2021-22 and would be a gateway of connecting Kashmir with important destinations.
Pension Schemes & Scholarships - 100% coverage of 55 individual beneficiary schemes were ensured with special focus on border areas. 8,88,359 beneficiaries were provided pension benefit @Rs.1000/- per month under ISSS and NSAP. Additionally, 272465 persons were extended benefits of Social Security among J&K population since 2018-19. Pre-Matric & Post-Matric scholarships have been rolled out consistently for minorities & OBCs.
Health Insurance – SEHAT – 49.38 Lakh beneficiaries have been registered for scheme launched by Hon’ble’ Prime Minister in December 2020 which provides a health insurance of INR 5 Lakhs per family on a floater basis for all.
COVID Preparedness & Actions – J&K has led the way for many by dint of the rapid response to manage Covid. 85% of Healthcare Workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs), 84.46% of 45+age group were vaccinated with the first dose. 100% vaccination of 1st dose (45+ years) in 4 Districts of Shopian, Ganderbal, Jammu and Samba were done along with vaccination for 18+ age group in the Weyan Village in Bandipore which proved to be the first village in the country vaccinated fully. There were 4,291Covid Care Centres functional. 84 plants with a production capacity of 86732 lpm of oxygen. A relief package of nearly of INR1353 crores announced for Construction Workers, Houseboat and Shikarawalas, Tourist Guides, Ponywallas, Palkiwalas, Pithus, Street Vendors, Women entrepreneurs, and Self-Help Groups.
Education – The sector of education also witnessed tremendous growth. 50 new colleges were launched, that added around 20,000 new seats in just a year, which proves to be the largest addition in the last 70 years. Student Health Card Scheme Launched wherein12 Lakh Cards were issued for the first time. Additionally, 38000 Teachers were regularised with transparency being focused on transfers and postings via online applications -for the first time with the satisfaction score of more than 95%. There were 292 & 174 students admitted in CIIT (Centres for Invention, Innovation, Incubation & Training) Jammu and CIIT Baramulla respectively.
Skill Development & Employment - The government of J&K partnered with BSE Institute, ICICI Foundation and Ashok Leyland for skill development courses in upcoming high employability sectors like BFSI etc. Two Centres of Excellence in Automobile sector -one each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions were also started. There were accelerated recruitment drives launched wherein 18,800 posts were advertised by SSB as a part of Phase I. As a part of Phase II, there are 15,260 vacancies that have been identified of gazetted and non-gazetted positions. The programme named “Hausla” which was launched in June 2021, has been a successful podium for more than 50 women entrepreneurs to receive 1on1 mentoring and has given encouragement to over 100 women to nurture their entrepreneurial dreams.
The people of Jammu & Kashmir had always felt a deficit of resources and growth avenues for them as they were at the center of resentment created due to the years of political struggle and never really received the full-fledged goodness and benefits of the various programs and initiatives rolled out by the Central Government for decades.
Many generations of Kashmiris have suffered due to the lack of co-ordination and connection between the Central Government and the state machinery. There have been years of suppression & oppression where development had taken a backseat. Under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha’s administration, there is a renewed rigor among the people of Jammu & Kashmir, where development is the core and central focus of all the initiatives and larger good of the people of Kashmir, the sole focus. These efforts are unveiling a “New Jammu & Kashmir” where the people of Jammu & Kashmir can witness development, equality and all the facilities and growth avenues that they deserve.