Security Forces’ Foot Prints Being Reduced: Governor

Security Forces’ Foot Prints Being Reduced: Governor

28 February 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Governor NN Vohra said today that the presence of security forces in the State is being reduced gradually following an improvement in situation in the past few years. He added that the restoration of normalcy is bringing the State back on the path of development. Addressing joint session of the Legislature marking opening of the budget session at Central Hall of Legislature this morning, Vohra listed out various initiatives taken by the State Government for restoration of peace in the State. He said the incidents of violence in the State have progressively declined in the past two years. The 34-days long budget session of the State Legislature with 26 sittings began today with the joint address of the Governor. Mr Vohra, who might well be addressing the joint session of J&K Legislature for the last time as his tenure expires on June 25 this year, said the terror-related incidents have decreased from 188 in 2011 to 118 in 2012, marking a decline of 73 per cent. “Similarly, 31 civilian deaths in 2011 came down to 15 in 2012 and against 33 security personnel, who lost their lives in 2011, only 14 were killed in 2012,” he said, appreciating the security forces for their efforts in this regard. “Our police and security forces have exhibited passions and professionalism in discharging their duties in trying circumstances without any faltering in respecting and protecting the rights of people,” the Governor said. On the issue of human rights violations in the State, Vohra said the Government is “seriously concerned” on the matter. He said the State Government has lived up to the expectations of the people and every segment of society has benefited from restoration of peaceful environment. On tourism, considered to be one of the pillars of State economy, the Governor said in past couple of years, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a record influx of both foreign and domestic travelers amid revival of normalcy in the Valley. While about 9 lakh tourists, including 32,000 foreigners, visited the State in 2011, the number of the domestic tourists grew to 12.20 lakh in 2012 with an increase of 16 per cent in foreign tourists arrivals, Vohra said. Similarly, 6.21 lakh persons from different parts of the country undertook Amarnath pilgrimage in 2012 and number of pilgrims paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji crossed one crore mark, the Governor added. During last four years, the Centre sanctioned 79 tourist destination and circuit development projects worth Rs 366.33 crore, and 60 of them have so far been completed, Vohra said. Referring to the cross-LoC trade started in 2008 as part of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Vohra said to facilitate business activities, permanent infrastructure has been established on fast track basis at Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad (Uri), Chakan-Da-Bagh (Poonch). Vohra said the Government has enacted several landmark legislations to enforce efficiency, transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services to the people, even as he noted the need to create employment opportunities as among the foremost duties of the Government. He observed that enactment and implementation of J&K Right to Information Act, Public Services Guarantee Act and the State Vigilance Commission Act are the landmark achievements of the Government. “The State Government is conscious that the creation of employment opportunities in the Government and private sectors is one of its foremost duties and steps have been taken to strengthen the recruitment agencies for fast-tracking recruitment in the Government departments’’, the Governor said. After constituting the J&K Skill Development Mission, the State Government has laid down a Skill Development Policy for the 12th Five Year Plan setting a target to train over nine lakh persons and hone their skills during the period 2012-13 to 2016-17, he said and added that several other initiatives taken towards the creation of jobs and the provision of self-employment avenues have yielded encouraging results. “The growing success of the Sher-i-Kashmir Welfare and Employment Programme for the Youth (SKEWPY) has encouraged the Government to add new features to it. Many incentives are being provided under other schemes, so that the youth and other sections of society are gainfully employed,” he added. Vohra said over the next 5 years, one lakh youth will be trained in the organised sector under the ‘Himayat’ programme, which was launched with the handing over of placement offer letters to 1060 trainees. He added that side by side, a unique opportunity has been provided to the youth under ‘UDAAN’ programme to develop their skills and also provide them employment. “As of now, under “UDAAN”, 25 corporate houses from all over the country have conveyed their commitment to upgrade the skills of 25,000 youth from the State,’’ he added. Pointing out that the State Government secured the highest ever Plan outlay of Rs 7300 crore for the current financial year, besides an allocation of Rs 1000 crore for Centrally Sponsored Schemes, the highest ever, the Governor said the State would access over Rs 4000 crore of Central funds. “This would provide us the opportunity to deliver a capital expenditure of about Rs 12000 crore during the current financial year, which would contribute to a significant increase in economic growth and a qualitative up-gradation of the social and economic infrastructure. “As a result of the substantial capital investment made in the State, our economy grew at 7 per cent, as compared to 6.87 per cent in the previous year. It is planned to take the GSDP growth to 8 per cent as soon as possible’’, Mr Vohra said. He said the Government has taken various initiatives towards the upgradation of infrastructure at various migrant camps for improving their living conditions. The camps have been provided with internal roads, schools, community halls, shops, medical centres, banking facilities and cremation sheds. Further, he added, 240 new two-room tenements have been completed at Jagti, cash relief has been enhanced from Rs 1250 per head per month to Rs 1650 subject to a ceiling of Rs 6600 while 1554 posts under the Prime Minister’s Employment Package have been referred for selection to the recruiting agencies. Mr Vohra said the Government is committed to further improve the revenue collection system in the State adding that during the current financial year the State has recorded 22.28 per cent increase in revenue realization. “The switch over by the Government to Ways & Means regime of the Reserve Bank of India, after the liquidation of a huge overdraft of more than Rs 2500 crore, was a landmark step taken by the Government to move towards fiscal consolidation. This step has borne positive results and during the year 2011-12 the State Government not only saved an interest payment of approximately Rs 225 crore to the J&K Bank but, instead, earned an interest of approximately Rs 11 crore”, he asserted. Mr. Vohra said that in furtherance of its commitment to strengthen the justice delivery system in the State the Government has created 36 Courts of Special and Additional Mobile Magistrates and 1 Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge. “The establishment of these 37 courts will make an important contribution towards the provision of easy and accessible justice in the State. The Government has also established a new regime of Institutions, Authorities and Committees to ensure that the marginalized and needy people, particularly women, get access to justice. “The Government is contemplating the creation of a number of fast track courts, which would include courts for the disposal of cases pertaining to offences against women,’’ the Governor said. He added that under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, ‘Development of Infrastructural facilities for the Judiciary’, an amount of more than Rs 30 crore has so far been provided for infrastructure development and work is in progress at 23 places. He said the Government is concerned about the frequent occurrence of road accidents, particularly in several hilly stretches in the State. “A major thrust is being given to implement schemes for improving road connectivity to inaccessible areas for ensuring equitable development. 3174 kms of roads were black topped or macadamized during 2012. In the State Plan, an amount of Rs 300 crore was approved for the development of roads in the projectization mode and 117 works are expected to be completed during 2012-13,’’ he added. The Governor said under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme, two main projects, i.e. the Mughal road and the Narbal-Tangmarg roads are nearing completion. The four laning of 24.5 kms of the Narbal-Tangmarg road has been completed. On the Mughal Road Project, about Rs 600 crore have been spent so far. Under the PMGSY, 1161 kms of roads, connecting 143 habitations, were completed up to December, 2012 with an expenditure of Rs 337 crore. He said that four laning of the National Highway, 1-A, is an important project. So far, out of 400 kms, 114 kilometers area has been completed and work on the remaining 286 kms is in progress. The Governor said that Government has established the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Development Corporation with a view to providing a fillip to the construction of roads and allied infrastructure in the State. The Governor said that the Government is committed to harness the enormous hydel resources with which the State is blessed. “Our State has the capacity to generate more than 20,000 MWs of power, against which only 2461 MWs have been harnessed so far. Besides fast tracking the completion of ongoing projects in the Central sector, a multi-pronged strategy has been evolved which focused on new hydro-electric projects being set up under the State sector, under the joint venture mechanism and under the Independent Power Producers Mode. For strengthening the power sector, projects with an additional capacity of more than 6,000 MWs have been identified for being taken up during the 12th Five Year Plan,’’ Vohra said. He said that under the State sector, the process of executing 7 hydel power projects of Baglihar-II, New Ganderbal, Lower Kalnaie, Parnaie, Kirthaie-I, Dah and Hanu, with a total installed capacity of 1036 MWs, has been initiated by the State Power Development Corporation. The 45 MW Nimoo-Bazgo project in Leh district is being commissioned in the next financial year. The 240 MW Uri-II HEP is likely to be commissioned by the NHPC during the current financial year. Consequent upon the signing of an MoU by the J&K SPDC with the NHPC and Power Trading Corporation on the formation of a Joint Venture Company (JVC) for the development of three hydroelectric projects in the Chenab basin, with a total capacity of 2,120 MW, the JVC has tendered out the Pakal Dul HEP (1000 MW) under the IPP BOOT. Action has also been initiated for the implementation of the Ratle HEP whose capacity has been revised from 690 MWs to 850 MWs.