Jammu and Kashmir has achieved yet another feat. It has become the first Union Territory in the country to establish 75 Amrit Sarovars in each district as per the aspirations of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Mission Amrit Sarovar was launched by Prime Minister on National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24 this year at Palli Gram Panchayat in Jammu's Samba district itself and at the national level, the UT figures at number 2 in terms of completion of Amrit Sarovars featuring just after the much bigger State of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the guidelines of the mission, J&K had to complete 300 Amrit Sarovars before August 15, 2022 and 1500 Amrit Sarovars by August 15, 2023. However, the UT completed 1490 Amrit Sarovars on 15th of August, 2022 and hoisted National Flags over them on the occasion of Independence Day.
Governance standards improve
After the abrogation of Article 370 a temporary provision in the Constitution, on August 5, 2019 Jammu and Kashmir has been competing with every state and UT in the country. The Himalayan region has been figuring on top of "Good- Governance" indexes and other surveys.
The year 2021-22 witnessed tremendous improvement in the governance standards of Jammu and Kashmir and testimony of the fact is the acknowledgement by different surveys that were conducted by various independent and government agencies.
In the 39th Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Urban Index-2021 by NITI Aayog, Srinagar city secured 61.50 points. In its latest report of National Family Healthy Survey (NFHS-5) J&K has shown a record improvement over the last three years in key maternal and child health indicators.
The LEADS 2021 index, released by the Union Commerce Ministry, had put J&K on the top of the list. The report had stated that among the North-Eastern states in the Himalayan region, J&K was the top ranker followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya.
Likewise, a report prepared by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released in September last year regarding food safety had J&K at the top among eight Union Territories in the country.
In its report, the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), a not for profit research think-tank, had adjudged J&K as the second best governed Union Territory in the country.
The report released in November, 2021 had stated that J&K has shown improvement in the composite ranking for governance index-2021 and bagged second position.
J&K felicitated for achieving UNSD goals
Last month Jammu & Kashmir was felicitated for making remarkable contributions towards achieving 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals during the last couple of years. The J&K has made important contributions towards the goal of Carbon Neutrality. Panchayat Palli in Samba district has been fully powered with Solar Energy with a 500 KW Solar Plant and various works are being carried out in Palli panchayat only through power supplied by this solar plant.
This unique initiative was inaugurated by PM Modi in April this year as a follow-up of the UN Climate Change Glasgow Conference.
Public awareness and mass campaigns have been launched to reach up to grassroots level in J&K for multiple sectors like Health, Jal Shakti, Urban Development through Swacch Bharat Mission and significant headway has been made in improving J&K's ranking in UN Sustainable Development Goals during the past two years.
The J&K Government has also approved the Rooftop Solar Scheme for residential households towards reducing over 5 million tonnes of Carbon emission which is ample proof of the commitment to contribute substantially towards UNSD goals well within the target year, 2030.
Attendance in Durbars ends
Jammu and Kashmir, which till 2019 was infamous for stone-pelting, shutdowns, strikes and terrorism, has emerged as the top performing places in the country and the good work being done by the blend of experienced and young officers is getting the due recognition. These officers are working without any political interference and are under no pressure from any quarters.
In the erstwhile J&K state, the officers had to mark their attendance in the Durbars of the politicians frequently. Their performance was not gauged on the quality of work they did. In fact the deliverance was not a benchmark, the only criteria of efficiency was how many times they paid attendance in the offices of politicians. The so-called democrats acted like monarchs and ensured that whosoever misses visiting them is put in a cell and punished for remaining absent.
Centre's decision vindicated
From 1947 to 2019, J&K fared poorly in the development indexes and the surveys that were conducted by independent and government think tanks. But from 2019 onwards the scenario changed. The region that figured among the poor performers emerged among toppers. J&K is giving tough competition to the States that are much bigger in size and development.
The government led by J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has reposed faith in the young officers and has given them a freehand to handle the affairs in their own way. This has instilled confidence among them and they are putting in their heart and soul to ensure that the targets given to them are achieved within the stipulated deadlines.
Fifteen hundred Amrit Sarovars that were to come up in 2-years were completed in one-year only. This shows the dedication and commitment of the employees who were entrusted with the job.
During the past three years J&K has scaled new heights and the transition of the erstwhile princely state into a Union Territory has proven to be a blessing for the citizens of this region. The PM Modi-led regime has proven to everyone that the so-called special status of J&K was not doing any good to the people. J&K's development just within the span of three years has vindicated the Centre's decision to merge the Himalayan region completely into the Union of India.
Things that were unheard just three years ago have become a reality. The Centre has not used any magic-wand to make the things work, but it has ensured that J&K doesn't lag behind and becomes a model for other States and Union Territories. The government employees are playing a vital role and their contribution is being acknowledged by one and all.