A decline in terrorist violence, increasing role of state police in law and order duties, new administrative units and overall development across Jammu and Kashmir have been seen in five years of the Omar Abdullah government, Governor N.N. Vohra said Monday.
Addressing a joint session of the state legislature, he said the government, which recently completed five years in office, has pursued people’s “welfare-centric policies with dedication, commitment and a sense of urgency”.
“The people of the state have also made a valuable contribution towards the restoration of peace and normalcy, which are crucial prerequisites for securing growth and economic development,” he said in his address which had to be curtailed due to pandemonium in the house. Copies of his address were later placed in the legislature.
Vohra said the government has decided to establish a comprehensive network of new administrative units which will include 46 new sub-divisions, 135 tehsils, and 177 community development blocks.
He said there has been a decline in incidents of terrorist violence, with terrorist related incidents declining by around 23 percent in 2013 as compared to the previous year, but added that there were 244 ceasefire violations on the borders, “which marked a large increase over the past year”.
He termed it a matter for concern that as many as 53 security force personnel were killed in 2013 against 15 such casualties in 2012.
“The state police is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining law and order and undertaking counter-insurgency operations, and it is hoped that in the coming time it shall be in a position to deal with most internal security challenges on its own,” he said.
Vohra stressed that security forces have been highly sensitized to ensure against any collateral damages or human rights violations while carrying out counter-militancy operations.
He said the improvement in the security environment has enabled the government to gradually reduce the visibility of the security forces and to reduce their footprints in the inhabited areas.
“As a result of this approach, 1,560 buildings – including schools, hospitals, hotels, industrial units, private buildings and cinema halls – occupied by the security forces have been got vacated and restored to their original use,” he said.
Vohra also said that the state’s revenues have shown a steady increase – at Rs.5,833 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs.4,745 crore in 2011-12 – a growth of about 23 percent.
He said the state has drawn up an ambitious plan for launching new hydro-electric projects to add 9,000 MW over the 12th and 13th Five Year Plans, and is also keen to harness solar energy.
On the health sector, he said as a result of the investments in this sector, the state’s health indicators have improved considerably and are better than even the national averages.
Noting the state’s society is predominantly agricultural with nearly 70 percent of the people earning their livelihood directly or indirectly from agriculture, Vohra said the steps have been taken to increase the production of niche crops like saffron and basmati rice.