Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said that he will continue to endeavour for the internal autonomy and financial self-reliance of the State to achieve the goal of peace and prosperity in the State.
Addressing a gathering at Lalpora village in Lolab Constituency of Kupwara District in North Kashmir, the Chief Minister said that gun has inflicted great injuries to the State both humanly and economically.
“Our development remained stand still while other states went much ahead on road to progress during the period of militancy which gripped the State for over 20 years”, he said and mentioned the economic disaster and loss of precious human lives caused by gun in the State. He said that his government worked sincerely and with a commitment to make good the losses and the damage caused by gun and put the economy back on rails.
“We worked for restoration of peace and tranquillity, took sincere efforts to safeguard human rights, reform the security and law and order machinery, to create employment opportunities for youth, upgrade road communication system, enhance drinking water facility and launch new power projects during the last about five years which have started encouraging results on the ground”, he said and added that the process of development would continue to be on accelerated pace.
Omar Abdullah said that his party fought the elections in 2008 to address the development issues and day-to-day problems of the people and made it clear that the contesting of elections will not amount to the resolution of all political issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir. He said besides devoting fullest attention on the comprehensive development of Jammu and Kashmir in all the regions and sub-regions equitably, we worked sincerely for creating an atmosphere where under political issues could be addressed politically through the process of dialogue. “We emphasized the need in this regard and extended our full support and hand as a facilitator”, he said.
Referring to the financial health of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that the total income of the State by all means is Rs. 6500 crores while the expenditure on paying salaries to government employees alone amounts to Rs. 1350 crore annually. “In addition we have to bear losses on electric supply to the tune of Rs. 2000 crore and another Rs. 2000 crores are being paid as pension to the pensioners”, he said and maintained that his government has launched a gigantic power generation programme in the State to achieve financial self-reliance and provide 24×7 power supply to the people in the State.
“The total energy generation since the independence to the year 2008 was of the order of 750 MWs. My government during the last about five years has given effect to the power projects of the capacity of about 1800 MWs while the edifice has already been laid for generating 9000 MWs of electricity in the State during the next seven to eight years which will revolutionize the State’s financial resources”, he said.
The Chief Minister said that development of backward and remote areas has remained under active consideration of the government during the last about five years and various schemes to improve and upgrade road communication, water supply, electric supply, health and education sectors received focused attention besides creating tremendous job opportunities for youth under various innovative measures.
Omar said the pro-active public representatives always ensure that the benefits of schemes launched in the State reach to the people timely. “They also work for getting best possible development packages for their areas”, he said. However, some he added, without naming PDP Legislators, indulge in politicking and forget their role to mitigate public difficulties.
“The network of schemes launched, under implementation and completed during the last about five years speak the sincerity and performance of the government loudly but those who have covered their eyes with dark glasses do not want to see the achievements of the coalition government”, he said adding that the ‘Pen and Inkpot Party’ (PDP) is indulging in false propaganda against the government and criticise it on power generation front. “They better reply as to how many projects they started in the State during their tenure in the government?” he said and added that PDP did not even launch one power project of 1 MW capacity during its tenure in government.
Omar Abdullah referring to the development initiated by his government in Lolab Constituency said that his government constituted Lolab-Bangus Tourism Authority to bring the area on tourist map of the Country and give rise to wide-ranging economic activities in the area. He said to give fillip to agriculture and horticulture sectors more than 27 irrigation schemes involving Rs. 215 crore have been launched in Lolab Constituency besides starting 59 water supply schemes at a cost of over Rs. 36 crores of which 21 one schemes have been completed and two are targeted for the current financial year.
The Chief Minister said that 122 new schools have been opened in Lolab and 130 primary schools and 11 middle schools upgraded to the next level. He said a degree college has been given to Lolab besides a University Campus in Kupwara which will admit students in the coming academic session. He said 850 educated youth of Lolab have been appointed as Rehber-e-Taleem Teachers. He said he has already taken up the issue of construction of tunnel between Bandipora and Lolab with the Union Government adding that a survey project for the construction of tunnel involving about Rs. 30 crores has also been prepared for central assistance. “I am sure the project will be approved by the Union Government and the survey for the construction of connecting Lolab with Bandipora will begin soon,” he said.
Omar Abdullah announced a Special Sub-Division of R&B, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control and said that all other demands of the area would be given due consideration by the government.