Will not rest until we strike last nail in coffin of terror ecosystem: LG Sinha

Admin was fully prepared to conduct elections, delayed Due to Constitutional Obligations to extend reservation, rationalization
Srinagar, Jan 26  : The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, affirmed that the efforts to dismantle the terror ecosystem and combat the proxy war from the neighboring country will persist without respite.
In his speech on 75th Republic day here at Jammu, LG said that the successful conclusion of the G20 summit, on the one hand familiarized the entire world with the economic strength, business capabilities, cultural prosperity, and tourism possibilities of Jammu and Kashmir and on the other, dealt a resounding blow to terrorists and enemies of humanity.
LG said the administration was fully prepared to conduct timely elections in all Panchayats and urban local bodies, however owing to constitutional obligations to extend reservation and rationalization, the process has been slightly delayed.
 “I assure everyone that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, a strong three-tier Panchayati Raj system has been established in Jammu and Kashmir, and we are committed to empower local government institutions and strengthen grassroots governance”, he added.
LG further said that on the eve of Republic Day, economic assistance of Rs. 1384 crores has been provided to 94,680 young entrepreneurs of Jammu and Kashmir, who as job creators will contribute significantly in strengthening our economy. 
Starting from the financial year 2021-22 until now, opportunities for self- employment have been provided to 8.34 lakh youths. Merit-based recruitment has been ensured for 31,830 positions in the Government, and recruitment process for 12,264 new positions is underway. 882 compassionate appointments cases have been approved last year, providing an opportunity for a dignified life to the families of brave martyrs and those affected by the untimely loss of primary breadwinners, he said.
LG further said that in 72 years, the capacity of CAA (Controlled Atmosphere Storage) was developed to the tune of only 1.35 lakh metric tons. Within the short period of just three years, an additional capacity of 2.44 lakh metric tons of cold storage has been generated with substantial investment. Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme has been implemented in all 20 districts and efforts are underway to implement the scheme in the horticulture sector. In order to ensure economic security for farmer families, a total of 14.83 lakh Kisan Credit Cards have been distributed so far.
The yellow revolution has provided a new source of income for farmers in Kashmir. There has been an increase of 11,000 hectares of area under vegetable cultivation in the Union territory and three new agricultural products, Sulai Honey, Bhaderwah Rajmash, and Mushkbudji, have received GI tags, he said.
LG said to ensure fair prices for the farm produce of Jammu and Kashmir, a total of 23 mandis have been integrated with e-NAM. Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, Rs. 2852 crores have been deposited directly into the bank accounts of 12.68 lakh eligible farmers. 
The progressive farmers and youth are being connected with new technologies in the agriculture sector. Under the PM Kusum Yojana, 9000 solar agricultural pumps are being provided to farmers for alternate energy. We are actively working towards the goal of doubling milk production by 2027 through the Jammu and Kashmir Dairy Mission, benefitting 6.6 lakh farmers. A farmer is the soul of our society. They are our pride, our glory and people must respect them as a key of our existence. This shall be the resolution for our new society, he added.
LG said industrial revolution is sweeping across Jammu and Kashmir. Investment proposals of Rs. 90,182 crores have been received so far, which will directly provide employment opportunities to more than four lakh people. After 2019, industrial investment of more than Rs. 12,000 crore has either been realized on the ground or is in the pipeline. 46 new industrial estates are being developed to fulfill the goal of ‘Made in Jammu and Kashmir’.
To provide new identity to the products of Jammu and Kashmir on the global handicraft map, GI tagging has been approved for 9 crafts, and the process for GI registration of 11 other products is underway. A leading e-commerce company has developed a robust web portal that will make handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir available in the global market. The lithium mines at Reasi will create new opportunities for investment, employment, adding another dynamic dimension to the economic journey of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the fastest- growing States/UTs in the country. This is testified by the fact that in the previous financial year, there was a recorded growth rate of 35% in GST revenue collection, which is higher than the national average. In the current financial year, excise revenue collection has witnessed a growth rate of 29.46% so far and stamp revenue collection has recorded a growth rate of 11%, he said.
LG said in order to secure the future of workers in the unorganized sector, more than 34 lakh laborers have been registered on the e-Shram portal and efforts are underway to extend the benefits of Prime Minister’s Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana to all workers in this sector. More than 1.15 lakh workers have been registered under this scheme so far.
Artisans and Weavers are being encouraged to take advantage of the Weavers Mudra Scheme and strengthen the cultural identity of Jammu and Kashmir. More than 2300 cooperatives have benefitted under the financial support for Artisan/Weaver Cooperatives Scheme during the past two years. With the objective of linking PACS electronically with District Central Cooperative Banks, and in order to bring about transparency in credit provided to farmers and members of cooperatives, 537 PACS have been approved by the Government of India. There should be an approved PAC in every Panchayat that operates inclusively and encompasses all sections of society; the administration is fully committed to realise this goal, he said.
Path-breaking changes have been made in education sector to effectively, efficiently and comprehensively implement the National Education Policy. We are hopeful, the collective action will lay the foundations of a knowledge economy. New generations are being provided opportunities to learn next generation technology through initiatives such as College on Wheels, entrepreneurship programs, promotion of startup culture and engineering kitchens, he added.
LG said National-level discussions and follow-ups on the initiatives taken by Jammu and Kashmir, such as, Design Your Degree, College on Wheels, Entrepreneurship in Education is encouraging and gives us a hope that we will soon earn the rightful place in education sector. Research activities are being carried out in 30 colleges, and the education system has been infused with new capability of meeting the current global needs through skill development courses in 56 colleges. The capacity of polytechnic colleges is being augmented with 600 additional seats.
He said more than 15,000 schools have introduced pre-primary education. To develop scientific temper in the new generation, 1.21 lakh students from Classes 9 to 12 have been enrolled in vocational courses. In order to fulfill the commitment to universal education, 46,000 out-of-school children have been identified, enrolled in various schools and mainstreamed. Under the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI) Yojana, approval has been granted for the upgradation of 233 schools in the first phase.
LG also said that in the field of road and rail infrastructure, Jammu and Kashmir is scaling new horizons and the dream of railway connectivity from Kashmir to Kanyakumari shall be fulfilled this year. Work on the Delhi- Amritsar-Katra Expressway and the Akhnoor- Poonch road is progressing at breakneck speed. In the last year, 16 new bridges were constructed for improvement in connectivity. Under the Prime Minister’s Development Programme, construction of 21 tunnels, 39 flyovers, 26 bypasses, and 2 ring roads for Jammu and Srinagar cities, is underway. Considering data of the 2001 census, all rural settlements have been connected under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana, and work is underway to provide connectivity to the remaining villages figuring in the 2011 census data. To improve rural connectivity, 83 new road and bridge projects have been approved at a cost of Rs. 913 crores under NABARD during the current financial year. Jammu and Kashmir Public Works Department has been constructing an   average   of 15 kilometers of road length, on a daily basis, for the past four years.
Digital revolution has provided new momentum to the development of Jammu and Kashmir and also contributed to the cause of transparent and corruption-free administration in the Union territory. As a stark contrast to pre-2019, when only 60 services were available through the online mode, now, more than 1,000 public services are being made available online. 485 e-services have been integrated with the Rapid Assessment System, and feedback has been received from 7.5 million citizens. To ensure the timely delivery of services, 300 online services have been linked with the auto-appeal system. Jammu and Kashmir recorded 74 crore 42 lakh e- transactions in the previous year, averaging over 2 million electronic transactions registered daily, which is higher than many developed states. Aadhaar-seeding has been ensured for all beneficiaries of welfare schemes, enabling direct transfer of funds to their accounts. During the current fiscal year, Rs. 2,754 crores have been transferred directly into the accounts of 65 lakh beneficiaries. The government has formulated a comprehensive AI strategy with a focus on areas like healthcare, agriculture, mobility, education, and law enforcement, he said.
The LG said under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin, 3.37 lakh houses have been sanctioned against a target of 3.41 lakh houses, and construction of 1.73 lakh houses has been completed. Land is being provided to all landless beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Planned development of residential infrastructure in satellite cities is underway, with mass housing colonies and new townships being established in Kot Bhalwal, Chatterhama, and Gund Aksa. Under the Smart City Mission, Jammu and Srinagar have completed 191 projects at a cost of Rs. 3,987 crores. Currently, 70 projects are under execution with an estimated cost of Rs. 3,228 crores. Midnight New Year celebrations at Lal Chowk by locals and tourists from across the country, is testimony to positive wind, peace, ambition of common man and growing economic might of smart cities of Jammu and Kashmir.
 To fulfill the commitment of providing clean tap water to every household, under the Jal Jeevan Mission, more than 14 lakh houses have been successfully connected with piped water connections. Achieving approximately 75% coverage in this regard, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved the ranking of ‘High Achievers’ at the national level, he added.
Infrastructural up-gradation of health sector has resulted in unprecedented improvements in public health services. With more than 4,000 new health infrastructure facilities developed, including two AIIMS and two State Cancer Institutes, we have crossed significant milestones in the field of healthcare. Seven new medical colleges are now functional. To eliminate regional disparities, 120 health infrastructure projects have been completed in all 20 districts, at a cost of Rs. 881 crores. An additional 2000 seats have been added in the field of medical education and the capacity of MBBS seats has been increased from 500 to 1300, he said.
“Our efforts to improve the electricity sector have begun to yield unprecedented results. Four major Hydropower Projects – Pakal Dul, Ratle, Kiru, and Kwar – are under execution at rapid pace. For the first time since independence, Gurez Valley in northern Kashmir has been connected to the electricity grid. In the past year, a record capacity of 2964 MVA in the distribution sector and 2955 MVA in the transmission sector has been added. The process of installing smart pre-paid meters is underway in mission mode and there has been successful reduction of 15% in metered area losses. I urge all citizens to support the administration in strengthening the electricity infrastructure. All citizens should pay their bills on time, fulfilling their Constitutional duties towards the nation”, he added.
Tourism is a way of life for Jammu and Kashmir and reflects elevated spiritual experiences that contribute massively to the local economy. This paradise on earth witnessed a record influx of Rs. 2.11 crore tourists during the year 2023, and the G20 Summit held in Srinagar in May, 2023 led to a 2.5 times increase in the arrival of foreign tourists. Apart from popular tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam, there is a significant influx of tourists in offbeat destinations, contributing to the strengthening of the local economy. In places like Shiv Khori, 2 million tourists visited last year, 1.05 million in Mansar-Surinsar, 1 million in Patnitop, 1 million in Dudhpathri, and 0.15 million in Lolab. After granting industry status to the tourism sector, investment in this sector  has   seen   enormous    growth. These initiatives testify the comprehensive development and progress of various sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, contributing to the well-being of its residents and the overall prosperity of the region, he said.
Pilgrimage to Shri Amarnath Ji and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, with the highest number of devotees, showcases the deep spiritual connection of our holy places with the entire nation. Apart from off-beat tourism destinations, revival of tourism in border areas has strengthened the local economy. Last year, over 10 lakh tourists utilized the Gulmarg Gondola, generating revenue of over Rs. 100 crores. Shooting permission has been granted to more than 300 films, web series, and music videos. The International Film Festival of India held in Goa last November was a major attraction for film producers and directors from around the world, showcasing Jammu and Kashmir as a prime film-making destination, he said.
“I especially want to congratulate the youth of Jammu and Kashmir for setting new records in research and innovation. The Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade has granted recognition to 656 start-ups and in the past year, youth of Jammu & Kashmir have registered 297 new innovations and 134 patents”, he added.
 LG said last year, more than 65 lakh young people had the opportunity to participate in various sports disciplines. Four National-level events were organized under the Khelo India Scheme, in which 122 teams from across the country participated. After three decades, international tournaments have started, and Jammu has positioned itself as a premier sports destination in the country.
Modern sports infrastructure has been developed for the bright future of young athletes. A sports village equipped with all facilities is being developed in Nagrota. All 60 stadiums in the Union territory have been made ready with all amenities and resources for night matches. So far, 93 Khelo India Centers   have been established in all 20 districts.
LG said Jammu & Kashmir administration is fully committed to the resettlement and welfare of minority communities and Kashmiri Pandit families. Last year, new housing infrastructure with all essential facilities was inaugurated for PM Package employees in Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, and Shopian. During the current fiscal year, construction of a total of 3,000 houses will be completed. 
All pending promotions have been approved, and promotions from non-gazetted to gazetted categories have been approved in the shortest possible time, as a first. “I assure you all that we are making every effort towards ensuring that every citizen lives a life of prosperity in a dignified and honorable manner. In Kashmir Valley, all PM Package and minority community employees have been stationed at secure locations. Nodal officers have been appointed in every district and Raj Bhavan to address their security and other issues”, he added.
After a long wait of decades, refugees from West Pakistan residing in Jammu, Samba and Kathua will be given land ownership rights. Apart from families coming from West Pakistan, refugees who have been victims of discrimination in Pakistan-controlled Jammu and Kashmir and Chhamb for decades, are now recognized as citizens of this great nation and they are being provided equal rights and legal privileges.
I have always emphasized that transformation of Jammu and Kashmir can only be achieved by empowering the tribal community. Some nefarious elements with vested interests attempted to provoke the sentiments of the Gujjar Bakarwal brothers regarding reservations. I want to assure the entire community that under the guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi we shall strive continuously to provide you with all facilities, including reservations to improve your standard of living and making you self-reliant. Those who are attempting to mislead our Gujjar Bakarwal brothers are enemies of the nation’s unity and integrity.
 “I firmly believe that by ensuring the upliftment and development of the last person standing in the last queue, we can make the progress truly inclusive. Robust scrutiny of all pension schemes for senior citizens has been ensured. For the welfare of differently-abled persons, we have taken many steps to make them self-reliant and contributors in journey of development. Utmost priority has been accorded to the nutrition of children and women. Information of 8.06 lakh beneficiaries is uploaded on the nutrition tracker for their continuous health monitoring. Initiatives like “Laadli Beti” and the “State Marriage Assistance Scheme” are restoring honor and respect to women in the society”, he added.
Efforts to empower rural women have brought about significant changes in their lives. Over seven lakh women are associated with 87,541 self-help groups. Training has been provided to around three lakh women farmers. Approximately 3,000 agriculture and animal husbandry assistants have been appointed to provide last-mile support to farmers. Women farmers have established nearly two lakh agriculture nutrition gardens to meet the nutritional needs of their families. The Rural Livelihood Mission has started 10,000 micro- startups in the past one year. Advanced training has been provided to 5,000 women entrepreneurs from self-help groups to scale up their businesses.
 “I have full faith in the ability of our youth and we are committed to create conducive environment and help them to achieve long-term goals and new dreams. The pace of inclusive development in Jammu and Kashmir is unprecedented. We are determined to strengthen it further with a strong partnership with people. Our biggest challenge today is drug abuse among the youth and we must come together to tackle it. For sustainable development, our society has to be united, courageous and disciplined to fight against those who are promoting, justifying or condoning terrorism. We need to foil the efforts of terror ecosystem which is trying to draw sustenance and support from individuals or groups. We must isolate such elements who are using double standards to justify terror acts”, he added.(KNS) 

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