The successful completion of District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu & Kashmir is the beginning of a new chapter in integrating the newly carved union territories into the national mainstream after the abrogation of Article 370 & Article 35A. Enthusiastic participation among the voters across the state and participation of by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) in the first-ever election in which elected representatives will be administered oath, swearing its allegiance to Constitution of India.
After the scrapping the seven decade special status law on August 5th 2019, the state has gone through tremendous transformation and the Central Govt has quickly introduced a slew of measures by announcing development package of Rs. 80,000 crore to give big infrastructure a push in the state for revamping 11 airports, providing uninterrupted power supply, secure data transmission lines & unveiling new Information technology parks for generating employment opportunities in the state.
And one year after abrogation the Center ensured the citizens residing in the far fetched border areas of Kupwara district are brimming with lights as the area got connected to the national grid after 73 years of independence. The central govt has also pushed to upgrade, expand the transmission & distribution infrastructure in the newly carved out UT to provide 24X7 power supply.With the adoption of energy efficient LED street lights by both the Union Territories the scheme has resulted in saving of power bills for municipalities and reduced CO2 emission considerably.
To counter the increasing twin threat posed by China / Pakistan, the Narendra Modi led govt has understood the importance of robust all-weather border infrastructure to prevent war at borders by rapid deployment of army in the light of rise in cross border infiltration of terrorist from Pakistan & escalating border intrusions by China. The Atal tunnel dedicated to the nation this year is the world’s longest highway tunnel (9.2 Kms) built across the 13,050 – ft Rohtang Pass, connecting Manali to Lahaul-Spiti ensuring all-weather connectivity. Due to snowfall at Rohtang pass the region remains cut off for six months due to snowfall. In addition to this 10 tunnels running up to 100 km are planned in Ladakh and Kashmir to facilitate smooth movement of military and civilian vehicles with some at height of 17,000 feet.
Similarly work for construction of 14 km tunnel has already started at Zojila Pass at more than 11,500 feet that will keep Srinagar connected to Kargil, Dras and Leh all year round. Additionally tunnel for an alternate route to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) and Depsang Plains in Eastern Ladakh at 17,800 feet is being constructed, which sparked border tensions between India & China. Tunnels are also being constructed between Khardung La connecting Nubra Valley and Chang La at more than 17,580 ft, is strategically important as it is bordering the Siachin Glacier. Similarly, an all-weather tunnel is being planned to improve connectivity between Leh & Manali at heights between 16,000 and 17,000 plus feet to improve the lives of civilians in the area by providing impetus to tourism.
The Roshni land scam came into light during the year when the J&K High Court declared the J&K State Land (Vesting & Ownership to Occupants) Act, 2001 null and void, asking the government to evict the encroachers & retreive the property in six months. The arrest of separatist leaders after the abrogation led to a steep fall in terrorist activities around the state with incidents of stone-pelting incidents also coming down.
The new domicile rule enabled residents, children of Central Government employees who lived in in J&K for many years or studied here for seven years and took the class 10 or 12 examination in an educational institution to apply for domicile certificates. The Valmiki group who are working as Sweepers and cleaners were denied citizenship are also eligible to get all the benefits of rules of the Union Territory.
The Union Cabinet had also passed the order for an adaptation of 37 Central Acts in the newly carved Union Territory which includes Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016,Income Tax Act, Representation of the People Act, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 etc.
The erstwhile state will also attract investment opportunities in tourism, educational, medical, agricultural with outsiders being allowed to buy lands in the state. This will give a tremendous boost to socio-economic development providing the localities with employment opportunities.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir along with 85 Central Govt welfare schemes were extended a year earlier.
With the repeal of the special status the region of Jammu & Ladakh will also benefit and will present equitable growth & opportunities to all the residents of Jammu & Kashmir. Integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the nation is now complete and the residents are set to reap the seeds of development planted by the Central Govt and going forward as and when the situation improves and things return to normalcy the separatist leaders who warned of bloodshed will be surprised and high speed 4G connectivity would be restored as well.
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