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LG vows to promote self-employment, bridge skill gaps to make rural areas self-reliant

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Visits Machil, announces local recruitment rallies in armed forces

Kupwara: “I want to create an ecosystem in J&K, which promotes self-employment, enterprises, manufacturing, industries and also bridges the skills gaps to make rural areas of this Union Territory Atmanirbhar,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said Monday during his visit to the frontier Machil area in Kupwara in connection with the ongoing Back to Village-3 programme.

He observed that there is a need to work on the promotion of local crafts and imparting traditional skill training to generate self-employment.

In the last three months, 246 local youth, including 122 girls, have trained for village entrepreneurship, an official press release said.

“Kupwara figures in the list of best performing aspirational districts; will be turned into a modern industrial hub for walnut production and processing,” Sinha added.

Taking note of the long-pending issues of the local population, the LG announced local recruitment rallies in armed forces for unemployed youngsters. He also issued directions for the immediate installation of five mobile towers in the area fulfilling a much-needed demand of the people of the area, who had been ruing for mobile connectivity for the past several decades.

He also remarked that Kupwara-Baramulla rail line is UT government’s top priority for which the initial survey has already been undertaken.

On the occasion, the LG inaugurated 33 KV Khumriyal-Machil Line costing Rs 471.80 lakhs which connects the area to the National Grid, BSNL V- Sat for Internet, 24 bunkers/alternate secure shelters sheds, Panchayat assets worth 80.65 lakh created in the last one year. Gram Panchayat Action Plan 2021-22 of Machil was also unveiled on the occasion, the press release informed.

It said the LG also distributed Kisan Credit Cards, sports kits, and handed-over financial assistance, various certificates, and sanction letters to beneficiaries under different departmental schemes.

“I believe in action, not announcements; will not rest until all villages of J&K are provided with basic amenities. We do not lack funds, but awareness and planned execution. Rs 200 crore have been allotted for development of village industries in J&K; going to secure investment of more than Rs 25,000 crores very soon,” the LG said.

He also observed that the district has largely unexploited potential of processing around 50,000 tones of walnut and around 3 lakh tonnes apple every year.

He congratulated the people of Machil and Keran for getting electricity through National Electricity Grid, ending their 70 years long wait only due to the “Inclusive Development mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”. He assured that the efforts are also underway to connect remaining habitations with the Power Grid as well.

“I want to make Kupwara a modern industrial hub for walnut production and processing. A single unit set with a cost of Rs 10 lakh could help provides employment to 20-25 people and an annual turnover of 30-35 tonne walnuts,” observed the LG. He also asked the district administration and the Panchayats to generate cluster plans for walnut and apple processing in the district.

“The government is helping people set up food processing units by giving 50 percent amount of the total investment. Two educated youth from every Panchayat are provided Rs 5 lakh each to set up business unit during Back to Village 3. More than 8000 youth will be benefitted from this initiative across J&K and a special desk have been set up by J&K bank for assisting young boys and girls in setting up their business,” the LG said.

“I understand the difficulties faced by Kupwara due to its proximity to the border. I come with a promise that the government is striving to connect Kupwara and other remote areas of J&K with the nation through all-round development,” the LG said.

He said that the government is focusing on promoting key sectors, including food processing, identified for investment which would help generate lots of employment avenues within the district.

“Kupwara can achieve phenomenal growth through clear policies, convergence, incentives, skills, and expansion of the market and I am confident about it. We need to develop and promote new avenues for youngsters from Kupwara. Let us make a promise to ourselves that we will work with dedication and honesty to make our education system robust and professionally competent,” the LG maintained.

The LG also appreciated the district for completing 561 works from earlier phases of the Back to Village programme, and for taking up 1099 works during the ongoing phase.

“162 works are being completed under the government’s Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in the district. The aim of BADP is to strengthen the border area infrastructure, especially of health sector; development of key sectors like education, agriculture, water resources; financial inclusion, and skill development. 90 percent of the BADP budget is borne by the Union government,” he continued.

Identifying the water deficit topography of the district, the LG called for installing solar-powered water pumps to provide water to water deficit areas of the district.

“Under the new regime, no more delays in projects shall be tolerated. The government is trying to change the existing ecosystem of delays,” said the LG.  He stressed on peoples’ cooperation and sector-specific policy interventions to mitigate unwarranted delays.

He also called upon senior officers of the district for organizing public grievance redressal camps at the block level every week according to need and feasibility.

The LG also called for organizing ‘Rozgar Utsav’, as part of next ‘Jan Abhiyaan’ wherein educated and skilled youth could participate and connect for exchange of ideas. He also asked respective departments to utilize the opportunity to gather relevant data and help implementation of New Education Policy effectively.

The LG also congratulated Nadia Beigh of Punzwa village and Aftab Rasool of Trehgam for cracking the prestigious UPSC exam. He also observed that modern e-library cum reading rooms being inaugurated during the Back to Village programme would help youngsters prepare for competitive exams.

He directed the Deputy Commissioner and senior officers from the education department to identify the cause of significant secondary school dropout rate and work on it to eliminate the lapses.

Speaking on the promotion of sports activities, the LG observed that all Panchayats have been provided sports kits according to local preferences. He expressed satisfaction over the construction of three indoor stadia in the district and completion of 341 out of 385 projected playgrounds.

The LG directed officers to ensure availability of drinking water and power supply, ration, medicines, and other basic amenities.

Later, the LG met with various public delegations coming from remote areas of Dudi, Misribehel, Ring Payeen, Chuntimari, Pushwari, Doniwari and took stock of their issues and developmental needs, the official press release said.

It said he assured them that all their genuine issues and demands will be addressed on merit and all efforts shall be made to provide the best rural road connectivity, bunkers, and other necessary infrastructure.

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