This has resulted in the creation of significant employment opportunities

Article 370’s revocation has opened the floodgates for development in Jammu and Kashmir, which for years witnessed poor activity on this front due to militancy and lack of adequate efforts by the previous governments to improve the situation.

According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, 1,41,815 new works/projects have been taken up under various sectors/schemes in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir since 2019.

A sum of Rs. 27,274.00 crore has been allocated for the completion of these works/projects, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

According to the minister, the project construction and procurement activities have resulted in creating significant employment opportunities for skilled as well as unskilled labourers, engineers, transporters and small businesses in addition to those engaged in supply of material, equipment and tools in the private sector.

It is estimated that this investment has generated employment to the tune of 1,169 lakh man-days in the UT, MoS Rai said in a written reply to a question.

The data provided in the reply also mentioned the government’s plan to develop 21 hydropower projects with an aggregate capacity of 5,186 MW in J&K over the next five years. The major hydropower projects include Pakal Dul, Kiru, Kwar, Uri, Dulhasti, Sawalkot and Rattle.

During the past two years, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing all-round development as a result of the government’s initiatives.

These have included various developmental schemes executed under the Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) focusing on individual beneficiaries and reviving long-pending projects lying dormant for several decades by removing the obstacles, through ensuring effective and transparent administration, informed the minister.

In this regard, he listed the following development projects and initiatives:

* The progress of projects being implemented in the UT of J&K under the Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) -2015 has been accelerated.

* 53 projects pertaining to 15 Ministries are being implemented at a cost of Rs 58,477 crores in different sectors including Roads, Power, Health, Education, Tourism, Agriculture and Skill Development, out of which 25 projects have been completed.

* Under the languishing project’s program, 1,193 projects worth Rs.1984 crores were completed, including 5 projects which were incomplete for more than 20 years, 15 projects for more than 15 years and 165 projects for over 10 years.

* 2 New AIIMS, 7 New Medical Colleges, and 2 State Cancer Institutes and 15 Nursing Colleges have been taken up.

* Intake Capacity of 854 seats has been added which includes 600 MBBS, 50 PG Courses, 26 BDS, 38 MDS, and 140 DNB.

* Household tap water connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission have increased from 5.75 lakh households (31%) to 10.55 lakh households (57%). Srinagar and Ganderbal districts have been made Har Ghar Jal Districts.

* All rural schools, Anganwadi centres and health institutions have been provided with tap water connections.

* Three major irrigation projects viz Main Ravi Canal (Rs. 62 crore), 3rd stage of Tral lift irrigation scheme (Rs. 45 crore) and Comprehensive Flood Management Plan of River Jhelum & its Tributaries–Phase-I costing Rs. 399.29 crore have been completed.

* Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jammu and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Jammu have been made operational.

* At the same time, the number of Government Degree Colleges and Engineering Colleges has increased from 96 to 147.

The long-term development of J&K has been aimed at generating economic activity within the UT and mainstreaming it into the national and global economy.

The immediate priority in this regard is to identify the key developmental projects of various sectors which will boost the economy and take the state back on developmental path.