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LG prioritizes development, peace, progress

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Promises to root-out corruption from J&K

SRINAGAR: In his Independence Day Message, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has extended greetings and good wishes to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In his message, the LG said that Jammu and Kashmir has always been an integral part of the existence of India in each and every respect – culturally, politically, socially, and spiritually.

“Jammu and Kashmir has a time honoured tradition of assimilating and embracing every religion and tradition and this peaceful and syncretic co-existence is reflected in the lives of the inhabitants of this land,” he said, adding, although this cultural mosaic has suffered many attacks, yet nothing has succeeded in annihilating its existence.

He said that those responsible for the partition of the country did try to divide this land too on communal lines, but the people of this land have always steadfastly rejected this bigoted ideology. He said that this land has been of Rishi Kashyap, and is also the land of Prophet Mohammad. This land has also hosted Guru Nanak in his quest for enlightenment, while also accommodating the philosophy of Gautam Buddha. We can learn a lot from Jammu and Kashmir’s ancient tradition of religious inclusivity, and we are committed to renew and empower this tradition.

He quoted Lala Ded:

“Shiva abides in all that is everywhere

Then do not discriminate between a Hindu and a Muslim

If you are wise seek the absolute within yourself

That is true knowledge of the Lord”.

He said: “Unfortunately, some wrong decisions were taken after independence. These decisions inevitably led to resentment in the hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and distanced them from the rest. This distancing led to the widening of fissures and cracks. Generation after generation was sacrificed at the altar of hatred. Instead of countless doors that should have opened for the people in Independent India, numerous doors closed upon the people, and distances increased”.

He said that though former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid great emphasis on Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat but humanity conceded defeat to terrorism for decades in Kashmir, democracy suffered at the hands of vested interests, and Kashmiriyat was massacred to appease the hatred that ensued.

“But we want to transform the narrative once again. We want to make development, peace, progress and social harmony the most integral part of the narrative of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

He further said that after the constitutional change enacted in 2019, the central government took not one or two, but historic 50 decisions to transform the face of the region and mentioned the five targets to be achieved:

  • Just and transparent system of governance, dedicated to empowering the marginalized and weaker sections of society.
  • Establishing a thriving grassroot level democracy.
  • Ensuring maximum welfare so that every person benefits from government schemes.
  • Accelerate the development of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Economic development, creation of employment opportunities and livelihood to be primary priority.

LG also emphasized that equality and justice are being gradually restored in Jammu and Kashmir. He spoke about the rights of women who marry outside Jammu and Kashmir, refugees from West Pakistan, displaced migrants, pahadi speaking people, Other Backward Classes and safai karmis, who, he said have finally found long delayed justice.

“Discipline and order are gradually being established. The government is promise bound to uproot corruption in all forms,” he said.

On panchayti raj, the LG said that the full application of 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution has laid the ground for a strong grassroots democracy.

He said that after the constitutional change, elections for Block Development Council were conducted for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir. They have been accorded a status as public representatives and now possess the means to fulfill expectations of people.

He said that as soon as the Covid-19 Pandemic subsides, “we will fill the vacant posts of panchayats and create the third tier of governance viz. panchyati raj at the district level”.

“Our sole target is to ensure the welfare of all. Through Individual Welfare Schemes, focus has been laid on 100 % coverage of beneficiaries. 100% coverage has been achieved in schemes like Saubhagya, Ujala and PM Ujjwala. In Saubaghya, J&K has been awarded National Award of Rupees 100 crore. 15.9 lakh families have received LED lamps under the Ujala Scheme. More than 12 lakh families have benefitted from LPG connections provided under Ujjwala Scheme,” said the LG.

He said that Government is planning to extend benefits of health insurance through J&K health scheme to the remaining one crore people, other than the 30 lakh people who are beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat.

“This will be the first region in the country where every person will be granted free health insurance,” he said.

Sinha said: “Works which were never executed in 70 years are being executed now. After 70 long years, drinking water has been made available in the Mohra Ambkhori mohalla of Kangri village in Rajouri. In Budgam Laripora canal has been rejuvenated after 70 years of lying in a decrepit state. The villages of Keran and Mundiyan in Kupwara are being connected to the electricity grid after 70 years. Drinking water is being made available to Dheerti Village of Reasi district and Chumtihal village of Anantnag District after 70 years”.

He said that cities of Jammu and Kashmir need to be modernized more. They should serve as the engine of development.

“Power Sector is an area of our prime focus. In addition to hydro electric power projects, transmission and distribution projects are also being implemented with an aim to fulfill the target of providing 24× 7 electricity supply to every household,” said the LG.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir is promise bound to extract the maximum benefit from PM’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ scheme to revive its economy, and accelerate its progress. “8 task forces have been specially created for dedicated implementation of the package, and we will try to acquire a benefit of Rupees 20,000 crores from it,” he added.

Mentioning the GI tag to Kashmir saffron, the LG said that farmers are being encouraged to bring and sell their produce directly in the market.

He said that a land bank of 6000 acres has been created where new medicity, educational centers and IT hubs will be developed and this will open new avenues of employment for our youth.

On employment, the LG said that the process of filling 11000 posts has been started to provide employment. In addition to this, 10,000 more vacant posts will be filled soon.

“To promote tourism, new destinations are being developed. Unprecedented investment is being made in the sports sector. Our teams, our boys and girls are winning the hearts and accolades of the entire country,” he added.

He further said: “Whether it be the allocation of Rupees 366 crore to 4483 panchayats to develop gram panchayats, or laying underground power cables in Gulmarg, Pahalgam , Patnitop and Sonmarg, or commencing the work on supply of piped gas to Srinagar and other major towns, all these decisions were inspired by a single motive – to strengthen the democracy in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure the development of the region”.

He expressed gratitude to J&K police, Central Paramilitary Forces and the brave jawans of Indian Army, who ‘offer the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the integrity and freedom of the nation, and ensure that the citizens of the country live a secure and peaceful life’.

“This is the occasion to remember Ajay Pandita and Wasim Bari, who laid down their lives to defend the idea of India,” he said.

On COVID -19 pandemic, the LG said that said that every individual is being looked after properly and no one will be left without assistance.

“Our doctors, paramedical staff and nurses have worked selflessly and with exemplary dedication. I want to convey to them that we are immensely proud of them. We will offer all health workers an additional 25 lakh insurance cover apart from the 50 lakh insurance cover offered by the central government. I request all the people to adopt necessary precautions to safeguard themselves from the COVID Pandemic,” he said.

He said that it was the dream of Sardar Patel that whole India should not just exist as a political map, but also move forward together at the same time, and conquer new milestones of development and progress and to honour this dream, the Prime Minister announced ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ on 31st October 2015, on the eve of National Integration Day.

“This program aims at increasing and encouraging cultural interactions among the different parts of the country, and motivates the people to engage more deeply with cultures other than their own. Under this program, Jammu and Kashmir has been linked to Tamil Nadu,” he said.

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