Earlier this month, Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha travelled to Kulgam district to inaugurate the Eklavya Model Residential School & lay the foundation stone for a new Tribal Youth Hostel.
This visit on June 11 would have been just another busy day at the office for LG Sinha, but for a few facts that can’t be ignored.
He covered the 70-km distance from Srinagar to the tribal areas in Kulgam by road, and not in a helicopter which is the norm due to security considerations.
He was on the road even as bullets were flying thick and fast in a fierce encounter between security forces and terrorists close by (Jammu and Kashmir Police later said a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces).
“Till date no Governor had visited us. Manoj Sinha saheb is the first LG who has come to meet us at this land of Aharbal. It’s a matter of pride for us that he travelled by road from Srinagar to Kulgam”, said a local tribal.
This one visit has clearly proved two things.
One, LG Sinha is not afraid to walk the talk. That the road journey went off smoothly only reinforced his consistent claims that terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is on its last legs and that the recent targeted killings are a desperate attempt to provoke the security forces into making a mistake that terrorists could then use to exploit popular sentiments.
However, despite several successes on the security front, this is not the time to let the guard down. And this is exactly why LG Sinha has been calling for strong action to destroy the terror ‘eco system’ in Jammu and Kashmir. “The administration has a policy of not touching the innocent and not sparing the culprits,” LG Sinha has pointed out more than once.
Two, while the security forces go about doing their job of wiping out terrorism, the J&K administration is determined to ensure that the benefits of development projects and the government’s welfare schemes reach the intended beneficiaries.
“There can be no sustainable development & prosperity without peace. Every effort is being made to free people of J&K from the shackles of terrorism,” LG Sinha said at a recent event.
These comments reflect the Jammu & Kashmir administration’s firm resolve not to let terrorists derail the development process that has gained momentum over the past few years. Barely a day goes by without a new project either being inaugurated or initiated.
Meanwhile, on the front of governance, which is a stated priority of the current administration, Jammu & Kashmir has recorded several positives in recent weeks.
This includes topping the list of Union Territories (UTs) in the National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment (NeSDA) with an overall compliance of nearly 90 percent.
Jammu & Kashmir was analyzed for the very first time in NeSDA 2021 in the Union Territories (UTs) category and achieved the best rank among all UTs for six sectors.
After the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 came into effect on October 31, 2019, it became the first UT in the country to get a ‘Good Governance Index’. It was also the first to launch the ‘District good governance index’ for all its 20 districts in January this year.
To sum up, the Jammu and Kashmir administration seems to be going all out to ensure a real connect with the people in the ground – something that was a rarity when elected representatives holding top offices preferred to confine themselves mostly to Srinagar and Jammu.