In order to promote tourism and generate employment, Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha launched Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Village Network under Mission Youth. The initiative is aimed at transforming 75 villages of known historical, picturesque beauty, and cultural significance into tourist villages. LG said that the youth-led sustainable tourism initiative will strengthen the rural economy and community entrepreneurship, empowering youth and women by providing direct and indirect employment opportunities. The initiative recognizes the uniqueness of each village and showcases the landscapes, indigenous knowledge systems, cultural diversity and heritage, local values and traditions, besides encouraging film shooting and offering financial incentives as well as ensuring a digital platform to all these villages. Besides, this scheme can simultaneously address the challenge of global warming and unemployment. Off late, Kashmir is reporting encouraging visitor footfalls. In July alone, around 10.5 lakh tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir and the figure reached 11.22 lakh in August.
Under this initiative of the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (UMEED), the SHG women entrepreneurs will be provided mentoring and handholding through intensive training and capacity building workshops for up-scaling their business ventures. In the first go, 5000 women will participate in entrepreneur workshops, 500 women will be provided enterprise up-scaling training and 100 women will be selected for business mentoring under SAATH initiative. LG observed that the specifically tailored platform SAATH will be a major contributor to the socio-economic upliftment of women in rural and semi-urban areas.
Polythene Free Srinagar
To save the environment, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha launched the Polythene Free Srinagar campaign and urged citizens to eliminate the usage of single-use plastic. An official spokesman said the LG congratulated the Mayor SMC and Municipal Commissioner Srinagar for the momentous initiative taken to curb the use of polythene in Srinagar city.
“Jammu and Kashmir has demonstrated an impressive capacity to maintain and increase forest cover. We have to exploit every possible tool available to ensure our cities complement this effort by saying no to polythene and strengthening our natural ecosystem,” Lt Governor has said. “We are in the middle of the biggest climate crisis and it is up to us how we shape our planet and the cities today.”
Charities Aid Foundation India has decided to distribute ration and hygiene kits to 300 families from the vulnerable sections of society in Srinagar and its outskirts. In a meeting with Lt Governor, Manoj Joshi, CEO, CAF India Meenakshi Batra expressed her support to the government of Jammu and Kashmir in its fight against the Covid19 pandemic and assured CAF India’s contribution to further complement the efforts of the healthcare sector.
“The non-profit sector has played a crucial role in supporting hospitals and their frontline workers, but more needs to be done. We hope that this contribution can make a difference and help the brave frontline workers and people of Jammu and Kashmir fight the pandemic,” Batra told the LG. In Jammu and Kashmir, the organisation is providing medical consumables to government hospitals, PHCs and Municipal Corporation, which includes hand sanitisers, masks, face shields, gloves, PPE, infrared thermometers, thermoguns, oxymeters, oxygen Concentrators etc.
A Speaker’s Visit
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on September 1, 2021, advocated legislative powers for elected grassroots representatives in Jammu and Kashmir and invited them to visit Parliament “to gain first-hand experience of the legislative process”. Birla was on a week-long visit to Kashmir and Ladakh. “Local representatives should have a say in the legislative process as they are a link between the people and administration. They are, therefore, in a better position to reflect people’s hopes and aspirations,” he noted.
Birla made these remarks during an interaction with Panchayati Raj representatives, including members of the District Development Councils (DDC), Block Development Councils (BDC) and Panchayats in Kashmir.
Emphasising the role of democratic institutions at the grassroots level in making the executive accountable, Birla asked the elected representatives to meet regularly, address the issues of people and ensure accountability of the government.
The Jammu Akhnoor Highway
Impacted by the labour tensions in wake of the Covid19 pandemic, the 30-km Jammu Akhnoor highway is now expected to be completed by March 2022. Constructed by National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), the highway would cost Rs 272.77 crore. The corporation is currently executing works worth Rs 10,000 crore
in Jammu and Kashmir. This road is strategic as it leads to Poonch and Rajouri. Now, the government said, the Ministry of Road Transport has approved two projects worth Rs 2556.36 crore on Samba-Jammu and Akhnoor-Poonch National Highways. Under this project, Jakh (Vijaypur)-Kunjwani section of National Highway-44 will be a six-lane Expressway. A budget of Rs 1821.72 crore has been sanctioned for these two projects. The government has also approved Rs 734.64 crore, under BRO’s Project Sampark, for work of rehabilitation and up-gradation to two-lane with paved shoulders from existing chainage including the construction of Bhimber Gali Tunnel under 31 TF on Akhnoor-Poonch road (National Highway 144A). The Bhimber Gali Tunnel will help in reducing the distance between Akhnoor to Poonch.