Achhe Din in Naya Kashmir: Low on Terror, High on Tourism & Edu After Art 370, Shows MHA Data
A policeman stands guard near a cutout portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the main market in Srinagar on Monday. (AP)
The latest data from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) shows that J&K has seen a dip in terror activities from 2019 to 2022. According to the Centre, 53 projects across diverse sectors, with a staggering investment of Rs 58,477 crore, have become the cornerstone of ‘New Kashmir’
While the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of abrogating Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the central government has since 2019 scripted a tale of transformation and progress in the region.
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The latest data from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) shows that J&K has seen a dip in terror activities from 2019 to 2022. In 2019, a total of 153 terror incidents were reported, in which 40 civilians were killed and 91 jawans from security forces were martyred. In 2022, a total of 26 civilians were killed and 32 personnel from security forces were killed by terrorists.
According to the government, 53 projects across diverse sectors such as roads, power, health, education, tourism, agriculture and skill development have been initiated and some of them have been implemented amid the improving situation. These projects, with a staggering investment of Rs 58,477 crore, have become the cornerstone of ‘New Kashmir’.
Air traffic to and from Jammu and Kashmir doubled post 2019, with the introduction of night landing facilities in Jammu and Srinagar.
TOURISM & HEALTHCARE
Tourism, a crucial pillar of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy, flourished, the government said. The details given by the MHA said that there is a tourism boom in J&K. The region hosted the 3rd tourism working meeting of G20, placing it on the global stage. Homestays, registered under the guidance of the tourism department, accommodated the increasing influx of visitors, while the sector witnessed an unprecedented growth in tourist arrivals.
According to the MHA, the transformation resonated in the healthcare sector, where seven new government medical colleges, 28 BSc nursing colleges, and 19 BSc paramedic colleges sprang to life. The addition of 800 MBBS seats, totaling to 1,300 seats, marked a significant leap forward, the data revealed. The academic session at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jammu commenced, while work on AIIMS in Kashmir is surging ahead at an optimum pace.
EDUCATION & POWER
Apart from the health sector, the Union Home Ministry in December this year claimed that education has received a considerable boost with the functional establishment of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Jammu, making it the only city in the country to house IIT, IIM, and AIIMS. Furthermore, the creation of 50 new degree colleges is in the pipeline.
Similarly, in the power sector, the development of five mega projects under hydropower generation promise to transform the energy landscape. Agreements were inked for projects such as Sawlakote, Dul Hasti Stage-II, Uri-I Stage-II, Kirthai, and Ratle, with a cumulative capacity of 4134 MW. The transmission and distribution sectors witnessed substantial growth, with new grid stations, transmission lines and sub-stations enhancing the overall infrastructure.
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Smart pre-paid metering is a forward-looking initiative unfolded in three phases, with 4.21 lakh smart meters already installed. Meanwhile, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a remarkable 8,086 km of roads were constructed in the past four years. The crowning achievement, however, was the upgradation of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway through the construction of the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, reducing travel time and logistical costs significantly.