SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Thursday held a press conference here at Auditorium Complex, Raj Bhavan. While interacting with the media persons, the Lt Governor highlighted the achievements made in J&K on the developmental front in recent times.
The Lt Governor observed that corruption-free and transparent governance is the priority of the present dispensation. He assured that he would ensure more use of technology for quick, hassle-free services like online building permissions, clearance of contractors’ bills, and other payments.
He further said that ‘In the last two months, several major steps have been taken up by J&K administration to empower villages and urban areas of the Union Territory, and to make government more responsive and accessible to the people. My first and only motto is development across 20 districts without any discrimination’, he added.
Apart from endeavouring to universalize the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in J&K, we have tried to give a push to the ongoing important projects of public importance benefitting common man, which had been languishing for years and some of them even for decades, he continued.
“As part of the recently concluded Back to Village programme,” informed the Lt Governor, “Block Diwas was conducted at 285 different locations in which around 4.5 lakh people participated. During the programme, total 13675 works started after earlier phases of B2V were completed while another 5980 were taken up.”
“During the programme, 4440 sports kits were distributed to ignite spark of sports in every panchayat, 3959 dustbins were installed to promote cleanliness and 2430 families provided a house under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana,” he said.
The Lt Governor further said that 4,25,258 Domicile Certificates, 45,327 Category Certificates, and 51,097 birth/ death/ disability certificates were issued in addition to a greater number of social welfare pensions sanctioned during B2V3.
Announcing his aim of achieving public outreach in towns, strengthening of grass-root democracy, and delivering services at doorsteps of the urban population, the Lt Governor announced that the government is coming up with ‘My Town My Pride’ movement, which starts from 19th October. We have three main objectives – Public outreach in towns, Strengthening grass-root democracy, and service delivery at doorsteps. I have been pushing for on spot Grievance Redressal, Instant delivery of services to the masses, and on the ground speedy execution of people-centric projects.
On languishing projects, the Lt Governor announced that 44 long-languishing projects have been completed in the month of September alone, while another 1798 projects are being expedited for completion.
We are number one among all the States and UT’s as far as performance in PMGSY is concerned. We have already completed 1,392 kms and maximum progress was made between June 1 to October 15.
Blacktopping has been completed at the stretch of total 2,759 kms, including 1,250 kms of PMGSY roads.
In the last two months, various steps were taken for the development of the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors. We are distributing free “Thresher” to every Panchayat to ensure harvest process is not hampered. We are finalizing a proposal to provide 500 tractors to willing farmers on subsidized rates.
We are also identifying stretches for the construction of Public Conveniences infrastructure in the cities, towns, and along the highways. It will have standard designs, a common theme, and common branding. We are hoping to construct about 700-800 Public Toilets within three months’ time.
The 5% interest subvention in favour of the business establishments was the main incentive extended by the administration. The government order has already been issued on October 1, 2020, and the necessary modalities are being worked out by J&K Bank.
The list of borrowers has also been received and interest subvention is being released within a week’s time in favour of eligible investors pending since years 2014 and 2016.
As far as Loans for business support to fresh borrowers are concerned, loans have been sanctioned to 6998 fresh borrowers as on October 12, 2020 and an amount of Rs 53.21 crore disbursed to 3516 youth. Under Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL, a number of Rs 1622.21 crores has been disbursed against 58,437 borrowers. Regarding Business Support Loan, Rs 47.90 crores against 1317 borrowers already stand disbursed.
We are also giving a relief amount of Rs.1000 per month ( for Nine Months) to performing artists and the government will spend at least Rs. 1.8 Crore; Rs. 1000 per month to Shakarawala, Workers, Guides in House Boats as a relief amount and government will spend 11.95 crore on this; Drivers, cleaners who have moved to construction sector due to pandemic will be paid Rs.1000 per month for six months and the government will spend Rs.80 crore on this; 50% subsidy or Rs. 5 Lakh whichever is lower will be provided to the transporters for replacements of old buses. We are spending around Rs. 25 crore for this relief, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor thanked the Prime Minister for approving a special package of Rs.520 Crore for UTs of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission. It will improve the quality of life of rural households and lead to women’s empowerment to achieve the goals of Antyodaya in Jammu Kashmir, he added.
The Lt Governor also highlighted the Department-wise achievements.
He observed that many important health projects sanctioned as early as 2009-10 had been pending unattended. We have tried to expedite them and the results will be available on the ground for all to see.
Speaking on the health sector, the Lt Governor said, ‘The work on 200 Bedded District Hospitals at Ganderbal and 500 bedded state of the art Paediatric Hospital at Bemina, which were started in 2009 and 2012 respectively were being delayed unnecessarily. We ensured that the works on these projects are expedited and both the hospitals are set to open next month. Work on Unani Hospital Ganderbal, which was going on at snail’s pace since 2011 has been sped up and the hospital is ready to be dedicated to the public, with minor works like lift etc pending’, he added.
In further announcements, the Lt Governor said that the work is going on the projects like GMC Anantnag, GMC Baramulla, District Hospital Reasi, Lal Ded Maternity Hospital, and Bone & Joint Hospital, 100 bedded Hospital at Kot Bhalwal in Jammu and Govt Ayurvedic College and Hospital Akhnoor and will be completed soon.
The Lt Governor further said that, GMC Rajouri, Doda, and Kathua are likely to be completed within the next 6 months. ‘The work on AIIMS, Vijaypur (District Samba) has been started and is set to augment the Health Infrastructure of Jammu Kashmir Union Territory by August 2022’, he informed.
“I am also committed to providing quality and accessible healthcare services to the people of J&K. JK Health Insurance scheme viz ‘Sehat’ will cover each and every citizen of this Union territory and will also cover those not included under Ayushman Bharat,” he added.
Under the power sector, the Lt Governor announced that modalities have been finalized for the upcoming 850MW, new joint venture Ratle project. The project is expected to augment the existing generation capacity in the region.
“Cumulatively, the upcoming power projects will generate 6298 MW at the cost of Rs 54,593 crores substantially enhancing the generation capacity in the region,” said the Lt Governor. “It has taken us 40 years to reach capacity of 3000 MW power generation. I assure that the target of next 3,000 MW will be reached within the next four years,” he said. “All options will be explored to make Jammu Kashmir self-sufficient in Power Sector,” he added.
Speaking on the government’s effort under social welfare activities, the Lt Governor said, ‘the Government of J&K is making untiring efforts and special initiatives have been taken to ensure 100% coverage of eligible beneficiaries under 55 Beneficiary Oriented flagship Schemes implemented in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. All the stakeholders are being involved so that the benefits of these schemes reach to every single beneficiary.
“Stating his commitment ‘to push the development projects that are languishing due to a variety of reasons in J&K, various iconic projects were initiated to give a fillip to the development scenario of the Union Territory. Not just economic development, these iconic projects have their own significance and uniqueness,” said the Lt Governor.
According to the Lt Governor, a total of 270 iconic projects at a value of Rs 12972.12 crores are under execution in 17 districts of J&K with an average value of Rs 48.04 crore for each project. He said that most of the projects will be completed during the financial year 2021-22.
Highlighting various initiatives taken for the growth and development of the Agriculture sector in J&K, the Lt Governor reiterated his commitment for working for viable, sustainable, and profitable agriculture and allied sectors. Several initiatives are being taken to promote Agriculture, Horticulture and also encouraging farmers for diversification.
“We wish to make Our UT one of the top Apple producing areas in the world. Currently, J&K contributes to 88% of national production of apple, 93 of walnut & Almond each and 94% of cherry. I am also working on a plan to establish food processing units that will generate employment and lead to the overall economic growth of the region. We have also completed 1 District 1 Product survey, the Lt Governor maintained,” the Lt Governor affirmed.
A slew of major Steps taken to support includes Rs. 12 Crore Subsidy for Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage; 50% Subsidy for High-Density Planting; 50% Subsidy for Mechanisation; Rs. 90,000/- for irrigation; Rs.2 Lakh for Pack House and Rs 50,000/- for Vermicompost.
The Lt Governor observed that J&K is witnessing massive road infrastructural development. The Government of India is giving a dedicated focus on strengthening road connectivity through some major road projects that will ultimately boost the economic growth of the UT and its people.
The initiating of the work of Zojila Tunnel by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari ji is a historic milestone, he added.
“Seven more Tunnels are in the pipeline to strengthen the road connectivity across J&K. Construction of the 8450-metre-long twin-tube tunnel between Qazigund and Banihal will be completed by the coming March. 2968-metre-long 6-single tunnels road between Ramban and Banihal is due for completion in December 2021. Khilani to Kishtwar, 450 mtr long tunnel will be completed by June 2022,” said the Governor.
“DPR for 4.5 km long Chenani to Anantnag Tunnel near Sudhmahadev is prepared and tender will be floated soon. DPRs for Rs 4600 cr worth 10.20 Km long Sinthan Pass tunnel and Rs 350 cr worth Gelani Bypass Tunnel have been finalized and Tender for Rs 5400 cr valued Chattru to Anantnag Tunnel will be floated soon as its DPR is also finalized. All the projects will be started in the coming year,” announced the Lt Governor.
One of the historic achievements in the history of J&K will be the Rs 21,000 cr valued Delhi-Katra Expressway, work on which will be commenced in the month of December this year. With the completion of this ambitious project, the distance between Delhi to Katra will be reduced to 650 kms and it will only take 8 hours to cover the distance, said the Lt Governor.
Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Government, Animal And Sheep Husbandry Department; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, and Information Department and Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the achievements made by their respective departments.
BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Sheetal Nanda, Secretary to the Government, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; Simrandeep Singh, Secretary, Public Grievances were also present during the Press Conference.