J&K witnessing unprecedented progress, development

Farooq Khan, who is advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha in an exclusive interview with “The Kashmir Magazine” talks about several welfare schemes, progress of J&K in several sectors, winter preparedness, bureaucracy and outreach programme by the central government. Here are the Excerpts of that interview.

Kashmir Magazine

While replying to a question, Khan stated that the Jammu Kashmir has been witnessing an unprecedented level of progress and development and it is visible on the ground.

He said that the Kashmir valley has short span of time to carry out the developmental works, but despite that the roads, water supply and electricity has seen an unprecedented improvement over the past few years.

He also said that as far as the situation of Jammu Kashmir after abrogation of 370 is concerned, the violence has drastically gone down, while on some occasions some untoward incidents have happened, some innocents have been killed, but this is due to the frustration of those who are against the peace and prosperity of Jammu Kashmir.

“Since their dreams of violence, bloodshed have been shattered, they start targeting innocent people. Some elements are still trying to interrupt the peace in the Kashmir, but very soon all these people will be taken to task,” he said.

While reacting to recent civilian killings, he said the murder of innocent is the murder of entire humanity and whosoever is behind these killings will be brought to justice. However, he said that the intelligence setup every time requires improvement, may be on some occasions the intelligence organizations operating in Jammu and Kashmir fail to collect inputs to avoid possible attacks.

“From civil administration to police, everyone has to come together, to play a role. I am well aware of the potential our forces have, the perpetrators will be soon taken to task,” Khan said.

He also said that the politicians, who are making hue and cry of the incidents, should go back to see their own tenure and see what they have done, which would be a best answer to their queries.

“The politicians have every right to make statements, for their political gains, but people of Jammu Kashmir are well aware of the truth. Leaders can make political statements for political benefits as they also have the Right to Expression, but public is aware of everything especially the people of Kashmir who are more awakened. Let politicians do their own work and let the administration and forces do their own,” he said.

Over to the recent outreach of the Central government, Khan said that it was the time, when no one from the Centre was visiting Kashmir, but when it is happening now, the outreach is turning out to be a successful one, because whatever has been demanded, the double of that has been given by the union ministers.

He said that like an infrastructure development fund was allotted under which no project has been started in Jammu Kashmir till today, but in the recent outreach by Agriculture minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, he announced a major project under this scheme.

“This was unexpected earlier but this is turning out to be true only after the outreach of the union minsters. The union ministers did, what the ministers of Jammu Kashmir couldn’t do during their own tenure,” he said.

While referring to statements of several politicians, that the people do not have access to the bureaucracy, he said, that the bureaucrats have been always been there even in the time of elected governments, but due to the quantum of work it is not possible for bureaucrats to be available for the public every time, but still they are trying to be connected with the public as much as possible.

He said that recently an order was issued wherein administrative secretaries have been directed to hold public interaction once in a week, but a bureaucrat cannot have multiple interactions with the public, because it has direct implications on the welfare schemes of the government as they have to take their time off from their routine works, wherein they are preparing these welfare schemes.

Talking about the winter preparedness, Khan said that the UT administration is fully prepared. “The mechanical department has been already directed to ensure smooth flow of traffic all over the Jammu and Kashmir. The department has been directed to be prepared to deal with the snow, and ensure no route gets closed due to snowfall. The PDD department has also improved its infrastructure a lot, compared to the past, they too have been directed to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the winter.”

He also said that the recent inclement weather and early snowfall in the Kashmir Valley and hailstorm in Jammu areas has caused a huge damage to farmers and orchardists, which cannot be fulfilled.

“But I would make a request to LG Manoj Sinha to raise the issue with the central government or announce a special package for these people so that they get compensated as much as possible and the losses they have suffered are minimized,” he said.