In his Independence Day Message, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah presented the overview of the major achievements of his government registered during last about six years in the main sectors of Roads, Water Supply, Power, Education and Health. He also referred to the growth and improvement registered in Agriculture, Horticulture and allied sectors. He listed measures taken for youth welfare, empowerment of people and curbing the corruption.
Omar made special reference to the improvement of peace and security situation in the State during the last more than five and a half years and said that 80 percent reduction has been achieved in the militancy related incidents. He said all schools and hospitals have been vacated from occupation of security forces. He said 1000 private buildings, 300 government buildings, 40 hotels and 30 industrial units have also been cleared from the security forces occupation. He said rehabilitation policy has been introduced for the youth who had crossed LOC and wanted to return back to normal life. He said 350 youth have returned under this policy so far. He said 54 bunkers have also been removed from Srinagar city.
The Chief Minister said that Passport Policy has been made people-friendly and NOC for three lakh passports has been accorded during the last five years. He said 1850 youth have been benefited under the Amnesty Policy. He said warrants under PSA have been brought down 50 percent in last about six years from 2500 in 2008 to 1420 by now.
Omar Abdullah said that in a historic step his government empowered people to ask any question to the government on its all performance under the Right to Information Act. He said by implementing Public Services Guarantee Act a common man was empowered to ask time bound delivery of basic public service. He said these measures alongwith e-purchasing, e-tendering, third party monitoring, constitution of Vigilance Commission and Re-constitution of Accountability Commission have strengthened institutions and empowered people to curb corruption.
The Chief Minister said that by creating new Administrative Units across the State particularly in remote and backward areas has taken government to the doorsteps of the people and our promise in this regard has been fulfilled.
Omar Abdullah said that under a long term strategy he tried to provide a platform to the youth so that they can prove their mettle both within the State and the outside. He said initiative of SKEWPY is an important step in this direction. He said 16000 youth have been benefitted by way of receiving seed money under SKEWPY while Rs. 50 crore has been yearly provided to the unemployed youth as unemployment allowance.
“On the employment front, my government provided one lakh jobs to the youth in government departments during the last five years, whereas over 50,000 jobs were provided in the private sector”, he said.
Omar Abdullah mentioned the development of agriculture and horticulture sectors and said that his government paid highest attention to the welfare of farmers and growth of agro-based economy. He said while attention was given to increase productivity his personal focus was on quality production of agriculture produce and popularization of modern methods of farm techniques. He said adequate supply of fertilizers, seeds and timely advices on farm practices where made necessary ingredients of the agriculture policy under which the sector was also kept free from all taxes.
Omar Abdullah said that schemes of drip-irrigation in orchards, rejuvenation of snail horticulture area, cultivation of disease resistant and high-yielded varieties of fruit plants were introduced. He said Saffron Mission and Basmati Rice Production Mission were launched in the State. He said four lakh farmers lakh were given Credit Cards. He said 12000 snails orchards have been rejuvenated.
The Chief Minister said that due to various steps put in place by the government the production of rice, wheat pulses, other agriculture produce and fruit has shown remarkable increase.
Omar Abdullah said that production of milk in the State has increased by 4 lakh tones during the last about six years. He said 30000 poor farmers have been provided backyard poultry to give fillip to their economy.
The Chief Minister said that power has remained under highest focus during the tenure of his government. He said as against generation of 750 MW hydro energy from 1947 to 2008 including 450 MW Baglihar HEP, his government in just about six years has started projects of the capacity of 1500 MWs and laid foundation for generating 9000 MWs of hydro power. He said his government has also send proposals to Government of India for generation of 5000 MWs of solar energy and 2000 MW of wind energy in the State. He said special attention has been made to upgrade LT/HT system. He said 18000 new transmission lines have been installed and the electricity loses have been brought down.
On road sector Omar Abdullah said that during the last five years 270 new bridges have been constructed besides construction of 10000 kilometers of new roads and macadamizing 15000 kilometers. He said 19000 kilometers roads have also been upgraded and under PMGSY 1150 schemes have been taken in hand for road construction in rural areas. He said of these 750 schemes have been completed so far. He said two flyovers one each at Srinagar and Jammu are under execution at present and Mughal Road has already been completed and opened for traffic.
The Chief Minister mentioning education sector said that 5000 new primary schools have been opened and equal number have been upgraded during the last five years. He said 625 middle schools have been upgraded to high schools. He said 16000 new school buildings have been constructed and 170 modern laboratories provided to higher secondary schools.
The Chief Minister said that two Central Universities, two new University campuses about two dozen degree colleges, 50 polytechnics and ITIs and hundreds of schools were established to enhance the opportunity and accessibility of local youth to pursue higher goals in education particularly in the fields of sciences and technology. He said the higher education budget has been increased from Rs. 60 crores per year in 2008 to Rs. 380 crores in 2014.
Omar Abdullah said that during the last five and a half years more than 200 health institutions of different categories have been opened and upgraded. He said two new maternity hospitals, one super speciality hospital and various district hospitals have been made fully or partially functional. He said 15 hospital projects and 48 primary health centres have also been completed in this period. Lal Ded Hospital has been upgraded. He said 12815 doctors and paramedics have been appointed to provide adequate staff to the hospitals.
The Chief Minister said that 1000 new PHE schemes have been completed besides digging 10000 water pumps in different areas to augment drinking water supply programme. He said 200 treatment plants and 43 water testing units have also been completed besides providing safe drinking water to 5000 government schools. He said 10 large and medium irrigation projects have been completed and 10 are under execution. He said various drinking water augmentation works are under execution in Jammu and Srinagar while an artificial lake is nearing completion in Jammu.
The Chief Minister said that with the improvement in peace situation the number of tourists visiting the State has increased year after year. He said during the period from 2003-2008 24 lakh visitors visited Kashmir as against 50 lakhs during the period from 2008-2014 so far which is likely to goes up to 55 lakhs by the end of the year.
Omar Abdullah said that equal attention has been given to the sectors Urban Development, Housing, Social Welfare, Industries and Commerce, Handicrafts, Revenue and Rehabilitation, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Science and Technology, Information Technology, etc. He said development of remote and backward areas and poorer sections of the society is also received equal attention to achieve inclusive development.
The Chief Minister said that return of migrant Kashmiri Pundits to their native land has been his cherished desire and he his government worked with the Union Government to provide a befitting economic package to Kashmiri Pundits. He said his government has given new proposal to the Union Government for enhancing economic package for Kashmiri Pundits. He expressed the hope that the new government at the Centre would take early necessary action in this regard.
The Chief Minister mentioned the government employee friendly measures taken by his government during the last about the six years that his government sanctioned 6th pay commission and its arrears to the employees besides enhancing retirement age from 58 to 60 years and age limit for obtaining government jobs from 37 to 40 years. He also referred to the service benefits given to ReTs. He said the age limit for full pension benefit has been reduced to 28 years. He said daily wage rates have been increased from Rs. 70 to Rs. 110 per day while hardship allowance and ration money for police personnel has also been enhanced.
The Chief Minister said that his government without imposing new taxes achieved 300 percent increase in tax collection and 250 percent increase in revenue collection during the last about six years.