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Launch of SEHAT scheme glorious chapter of J&K’s history: LG

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Says J&K ‘entering golden era of development’; DDC members to be administered oath on Monday

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha termed the launch of SEHAT scheme as a glorious chapter of J&K’s history, saying that one crore residents of J&K who were not eligible under Ayushman Bharat scheme would now be benefitted making it a first of its kind scheme in India.

Underscoring the key features of the health scheme, the LG observed that the SEHAT scheme will provide financial cover upto Rs 5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT of J&K with benefits portable across the country, without cap on family size. A beneficiary can avail free and cashless treatment in any public and private empanelled hospitals across the country, he said.

On behalf of the 1.3 crore population of the Union Territory, the LG extended his gratitude to the prime minister for extending the universal health coverage in J&K, an official press release said.

Speaking on successful conduct of the recently held DDC elections, the LG observed that for the first time in the history of J&K, the 3-tier Panchayati Raj system in the UT has been established empowering the grass-root democracy.

“PM’s directions of holding free and fair elections were ensured and the DDC elections were held smoothly and peacefully in the UT,” he maintained.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir have manifested their faith in the democratic process. Youth, women, elders of J&K have voted for strengthening grass-root democracy and paving way for progressive future of the UT,” observed the LG.

He also lauded the State Election Commission, J&K Police, and security forces, all on-duty officers/officials for ensuring successful and peaceful conduct of the elections.

After a long time, the elections were conducted peacefully in J&K and the credit goes to the prime minister, the home minister and the people of J&K, he added.

The elected DDC representatives will take oath on December 28 under the Constitution of India and soon they will elect the DDC chairmen, the LG said.

“I am confident that the elected representatives will complement the government’s efforts, and this coordinated effort will give momentum to the developmental process in J&K,” said the LG.

Speaking on present health scenario, the LG observed that health indicators in J&K have recorded improvements. COVID vaccination distribution plans have been prepared. Neonatal mortality rate has dropped to 9.8 per thousand births, after a drop of 13.3 points. Two AIIMS, at Samba and Pulwama, are under construction. Five new medical colleges have already been started and another two will be functional by March 2022, he informed.

For improving the health sector in J&K, among the 140 projects sanctioned by the government, 75 are already completed and another 26 of them will be completed by March next year. Work is underway on two Cancer Institutes; 416 ambulances have been dedicated for the public services, said the LG.

The LG also said that J&K is entering a “golden era of development”. Transparent, accountable and responsive governance is being ensured and new avenues in various sectors are being provided with unprecedented progress achieved in all the schemes, he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir ranks top in construction of PMGSY roads. Languishing projects under various schemes are being expedited and 110 such projects have been completed on priority by the UT administration. Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), 20 major infrastructure projects have been completed and 16 more will be completed by March 2021,” he added.

More than 22 lakh persons are being provided benefits under various Social Welfare schemes. Through ‘Block Diwas’ and ‘Jan Abhiyaan’ activities, people have been provided domicile certificates, pension certificates, scholarships and benefits of various other centrally sponsored schemes. 95 percent saturation has been achieved under all 54 centrally sponsored schemes by the UT administration, said the LG.

Support and assistance is being provided to the poor, the labourers and the scheduled tribes without any lapse. On-spot redressal of public grievance is being done as a regular practice by the UT administration, he maintained.

“The metro rail projects of Jammu and Srinagar cities are also expected to be completed within the next three years.  20-point reforms have been introduced to help micro industries and businesses flourish. For the first time in history, the tribal community of J&K has been provided forest rights and a new chapter of their development is being written,” he continued.

The Skill Development Centre at Baramulla, established by the UT administration in association with TATA, is functioning and another centre at Jammu will be functional by February next year, the LG said.

He also informed that 10.7 lakh farmers of Jammu and Kashmir have been provided financial assistance under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi. “J&K is first in India to have been provided 100 percent coverage under the scheme. Kashmir saffron has been issued GI tag and many other products of J&K are also on the way to get their own GI tags.”

Elaborating on the efforts being made by the UT Government for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandit community back in the Valley, the LG informed that sanction has been provided to fill almost 6000 vacancies; and 6000 houses will be ready within next one and a half year for their accommodation.

On tourism, the LG observed that the tourism sector in J&K is coming back on track and bookings of hotels at Pahalgam and Gulmarg are already saturated. On the 24th of this month, more than a thousand visitors from various cities of India have reached by air.

The Mubarak Mandi Palace at Jammu and the Shergarhi Palace at Srinagar are also being restored. Under the Swadesh Darshan programme, 11 projects have been readied and another 20 projects will be completed by March next year, he added.

Later, the LG also distributed health cards to the beneficiaries.

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