The autumn session of the state legislature was planned brief. But whatever time it had, it was devoured by the crises that were not listed – PDP resolution on the unmarked graves, the BJP’s cross-voting issue raised by the Congress, the ‘bribe-for-berth’ case involving state’s
first family and the legislature’s inability to take up the resolution seeking clemency for Afzal Guru, the convict in parliament attack case. Part of the information about socio-economic state of the place that was tabled in the houses in bits and pieces could not get enough of space. Here are brief snippets from the session:
The government has realized Rs 73.73 crore by vesting property rights to encroachers under J&K State Lands (vesting of ownership to the occupants) Act, 2001 over 259077 kanls and 17 marlas of land. Competent authorities have rejected 86975 cases across the state. Udhampur is the highest beneficiary where 90607 kanals have been regularized, Kathua has 26111 kanals, Doda has 29262 kanals and Jammu 21484. Performance in Kashmir region is grim. In Srinagar 494 kanals have been regularized. Bandipore is perhaps the highest with 11002 kanals regularized. In Jammu, in s separate piece of information, the government said 160358 kanals of land stands encroached in Jammu district of which the individuals have applied for regularization in case of 125703 kanals under Roshni.
The government believes only 1378 persons have disappeared in the state since 1990. Pulwama tops the chart with 275 cases, followed by Kupwara with 235 cases and Srinagar with 225 cases. The government said it provided ex-gratia relief in 740 cases as another 530 are in process. In 108 cases, the ex-gratia compensation has been rejected due to adverse police reports. Government policy suggests that if a person does not return within seven years, he is presumed dead.
As many as 241 persons were killed and 402 others injured in border shelling since 1990. Poonch tops the list with 73 cases followed by Kargil with 57. Bandipore and Baramulla had 11 and 22 cases, respectively. Families of the dead have been covered under routine compensation policy.
As many as 16 courier service companies operate in the state. Of them 11 have their base in Srinagar alone.
There are 55 pesticide units – 53 in Jammu and two in Kashmir – operational in the state. They have been allowed to undergo substantial expansion as per the government of India guidelines subject to the clearance from the Pollution Control Board. Despite protests by the populations living around, the government says there is no blanket ban on these units either in J&K or in other states.
J&K has 33150 mts cold storage facilities available within the state which is insufficient. Of them three are in Kashmir have the capacity of 12550 mts and 15 in Jammu division have 2600 mts capacity. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH) offers 50% subsidy for creating cold storage facility.
State government says there are 47561 kanals and 10 marlas of land are under the occupation of various security agencies in Jammu region. In Kashmir it is 25953 kanals.
Around 35400 hectors of land in Jammu, Kathua and Samba are under Basmati production with an average yield of 88000 tons a year at productivity level of 2.5 tons per hector. A variety of rice is being grown in the R S Pora region with Ranbir basmati, Basmati-370 and Sanwal Basmati being the best of the lot. Under a notification issued by the central government in August last year, two varieties of the Bastamti – Sanwal and Ranbir are export quality brands.
Now the government is pursuing the growers to opt for organic farming besides adopting specific harvesting and drying techniques that help the grain retain the aroma and the other properties. The government had submitted a Rs 540.35 crore project to the central government for approval for promotion of the Basmati grown in the region. It has been approved and an amount of Rs 358.75 lakhs stand released for the year 2011-12. Besides, the special task force on Jammu has given Rs 30 crores for development of seed multiplication farm Chakrohi into a model basmati rive seed production farm. Initially Rs 10 crores was made available to the respective implementing agency.
JOINERY MILL PAMPORE
Established in 1953-54, the Joinery Mill Pampore commenced operations with best machinery of its time that was imported from Sweden. In 1987 it was gutted in a devastating fire and was immediately repaired to the extent that it could process 200 thousands sq ft of timber. Soon after militancy emerged, it became a declared dead. Most of its work force availed the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), which left around 142 employees still on its rolls. Of late, the government started helping it to revive. In 2011-11, the Mill could achieve a sale target of Rs 92 lakh and for the current fiscal the targets have been elevated to Rs 2.25 crores – a 145% increase in target. It is being revived as one of the four units of the J&K Industries Ltd and DPR is in the process of being drafted.
The government has been in a bad business for a long time. But the situation since 1989 did add to its credibility as a commercial agency as its PSUs booked massive losses. According to the details tabled in the house, ten PSUs have accumulated losses worth Rs 748.03 crores. It includes losses worth Rs 420.41 crores booked by JK Industries Ltd and Rs 201.98 crores of accumulated losses booked by State Finance Corporation. The list includes Rs 40.70 crores loss by SRTC as SIDCO has booked a loss of Rs 60.10 crores.
The 2011 headcount has reiterated that Srinagar is the most populous city of J&K. But nobody has noticed, for a long time, it is getting the lowest allocations in the district sector. In 2010-11, for instance, its allocations were at Rs 45.47 crores which was even lower than Ganderbal that was carved out of it in 2008. Ganderbal had the allocation of Rs 62.58 crores. Even Shopian, the smallest of the 22 districts had better allocation than Srinagar. During the year as the developmental activities progress, the government does offer some additional funds under the sector but in 2010-11, it did not cross five crore rupees. Where was it spent is also interesting. Around Rs 80 lakh were liabilities of earlier year, Rs 70 lakh went to the construction of an orphanage that an NC owned NGO is setting up in Bemina. Rs 30 lakh went for the construction and concretization of the shrine of Bulbul Shah.
Srinagar got peanuts under various central sponsored schemes. Data tabled in the house suggest that Srinagar got Rs 2.49 crores under tourism, Rs. 1.05 crores under mid day meal scheme, Rs 8.28 crores under Sarv Shiksha Abiyan, Rs 1.63 crores under RMSA, Rs 18 crores under National rural Drinking Water Supply scheme, Rs 3.35 crores under MNREGA, Rs 3.69 lakhs under Indira Awas Yojna, and Rs 14.30 lakh under SGSY. For the current fiscal 2011-12, the allocations continue to be lowest – Rs 55.65 crores which is nearly half of what Islamabad district is getting.
The national agriculture insurance scheme has been launched in the state and for last three years it has been covering paddy, rice, maize, potato, wheat and mustard in most of the Jammu districts. There has been only one case from Pulwama in which one mustard growing hector of land was covered under the scheme. Data suggests that in 2010-11, 1294 farmers were covered for Kharief and 1152 for Rabi crops in Jammu who owned 3802 and 1665 hectors of land respectively and were insured for Rs 3.35 crores and Rs 3.67 crores. Jointly they paid slightly less than a million rupees as premium. No claims were there. But in 2009-10, the agriculture insurer paid claims worth around one crore rupees.
J&K state has 588532 educated unemployed. The government has created 30549 positions since it took over in 2008. Right now there are 16043 vacancies within the government of which are 5325 in Kashmir. During last three years, the government referred 15218 positions to Public Service Commission and the state subordinate board and by now they have identified and cleared 14900 candidates. The government is in the process of engaging 43000 casual and seasonal labours in various departments. Among various other initiatives aimed at tackling unemployment, the government said around
2798 youth stand recruited by various security agencies including paramilitary forces, army and the Indian Navy. Recently, the government facilitated appointment of 23 doctors in Saudi Arabia. The government continued supporting the self help groups mostly comprising engineers. Data tabled in the house suggested there are 285 SHGs comprising 1442 engineers of whom 1088 are from Kashmir. These groups got 407 works in 2009-10 and 452 works in 2010-11 for Rs 32.25 crores and Rs 34.34 crores respectively.
OLD AGE HOMES
State’s social welfare ministry is running three old age homes in the state in Jammu province. Data tabled in the house suggest there are 37181 cases in Kashmir and 43697 cases in Jammu pending under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS). Registered beneficiaries get Rs 325 a month under this scheme. Right now, the government is providing Rs 200 per head per month to 21712 old age persons in Jammu and 21000 in Kashmir and the same benefit goes to 9226 women in Jammu (widows and those in distress) and 9796 in Kashmir. For physically handicapped, the government provides Rs 400 per head per month to 10273 in Jammu and 14091 in Kashmir.