J&K to be power surplus in next 4 years: LG Sinha

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Setting an ambitious goal, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said that J&K will be power surplus in the next four years. He also reiterated that his priority is to provide corruption-free governance to the people.

Addressing a press conference at Raj Bhavan here, Lt Governor said, “Cumulatively, the upcoming power projects will generate 6298 MW at the cost of Rs 54,593 crore, substantially enhancing the generation capacity in the region. It has taken us 40 years to reach the capacity of 3000 MW power generation. I assure that the target of the next 3,000 MW will be reached within the next four years,” he said adding that all the options will be explored to make Jammu Kashmir self-sufficient in the power sector.

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The LG said that corruption-free and transparent governance is the priority of his dispensation. “We would ensure more use of technology for quick, hassle-free services like online building permissions, clearance of contractors’ bills, and other payments.”

The Lt. Governor informed that as a part of the recently concluded Back to Village programme, Block Diwas was conducted at 285 different locations in which around 4.5 lakh people participated. During the programme, total 13675 works started after earlier phases of B2V were completed while another 5980 were taken up.

The Lt. Governor further said that 4,25,258 Domicile Certificates, 45,327 Category Certificates, and 51,097 birth/ death/ disability certificates were issued in addition to a greater number of social welfare pensions sanctioned during B2V3.

On the languishing projects, the Lt Governor announced that 44 long-languishing projects have been completed in the month of September alone, while another 1798 projects are being expedited for completion.

“We are number one among all the States and UTs as far as performance in PMGSY is concerned. We have already completed 1,392 kms and maximum progress was made between 1st June to 15th October,” LG Sinha said adding that blacktopping has been completed on 2,759 kms, including 1,250 kms of PMGSY roads.

On economic package for revival of business sector in J&K, LG Sinha said, “As far as loans for business support to fresh borrowers are concerned, loans have been sanctioned to 6998 fresh borrowers as on 12th October, 2020 and an amount of Rs 53.21 crore disbursed to 3516 youth. Under Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL), an amount of Rs 1622.21 crores has been disbursed against 58,437 borrowers. Regarding Business Support Loan, Rs 47.90 crores against 1317 borrowers already stands disbursed.”

Lt Governor thanked the Prime Minister for approving a special package of Rs 520 Crore for UTs of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission. “It will improve the quality of life of rural households and lead to women’s empowerment to achieve the goals of Antyodaya in Jammu Kashmir,” he added.

The Lt Governor also highlighted the Department-wise achievements.

Speaking on the health sector, the Lt Governor said, ‘The work on 200 Bedded District Hospitals at Ganderbal and 500 bedded state of the art Paediatric Hospital at Bemina, which were started in 2009 and 2012 respectively were being delayed unnecessarily. We ensured that the works on these projects are expedited and both the hospitals are set to open next month. Work on Unani Hospital Ganderbal, which was going on at snail’s pace since 2011 has been sped up and the hospital is ready to be dedicated to the public, with minor works like lift etc pending’, he added.

“I am also committed to providing quality and accessible healthcare services to the people of J&K. JK Health Insurance scheme viz ‘Sehat’ will cover each and every citizen of this Union territory and will also cover those not included under Ayushman Bharat, he added.

Stating his commitment to push the development projects that are languishing due to a variety of reasons in J&K, various iconic projects were initiated to give a fillip to the development scenario of the Union Territory.

According to the Lt Governor, a total of 270 iconic projects at a value of Rs 12972.12 crores are under execution in 17 districts of J&K with an average value of Rs 48.04 crore for each project. He said that most of the projects will be completed during the financial year 2021-22.

“We wish to make our UT one of the top Apple producing areas in the world. Currently, J&K contributes to 88% of national production of apple, 93 of walnut & Almond each and 94% of cherry. I am also working on a plan to establish food processing units that will generate employment and lead to the overall economic growth of the region. We have also completed 1 District 1 Product survey, the Lt Governor maintained, the Lt Governor affirmed.”

The initiating of the work of Zojila Tunnel by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is a historic milestone, he said adding that seven more tunnels are in the pipeline to strengthen the road connectivity across J&K.

“Construction of the 8450-metre-long twin-tube tunnel between Qazigund and Banihal will be completed by the coming March. the 2968-metre-long 6-single tunnels road between Ramban and Banihal is due for completion in December 2021. Khilani to Kishtwar, 450 mtr long tunnel will be completed by June 2022.”

Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Animal And Sheep Husbandry Department; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, and Information Department and Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the achievements made by their respective departments.

BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; Simrandeep Singh, Secretary, Public Grievances were also present during the Press Conference.