Srinagar: As the central government and J&K administration are highlighting the completion of big ticket projects following abrogation of Article 370, PDP and National Conference have said that many of these projects have been initiated by them and the BJP government is only trying to take credit. In the recent past, the central government has been able to start work on important road projects, including the Zojila tunnel project, which is being completed at the cost of over Rs 6,000 crore. Difficult tunnel projects like the 14.2 km long Zojila tunnel and another tunnel called Z-Morh some kilometers away from Zojila pass are also being completed very soon.
Previous governments are taking credit for these projects, whereas the BJP dispensation is saying that for decades, the Congress government at the Centre and regional governments in Jammu and Kashmir could not even complete the tendering process of these projects. Recently, the government has invited international bids for two more tunnels which will be part of an alternate highway between Srinagar and Jammu and would be having the costs of over Rs 3,000 and over Rs 2,500 crore respectively.
The latest trigger has been to this debate of taking credit, when Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha facilitated artisans, craftsmen while inaugurating the Common Facility Centre of Martand Chainstitch and Crewel Embroidery SFURTI Cluster at Ranipora, Mattan in Southern district of Anantnag. Regional political parties have maintained that Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) has been working from decades in every village of Jammu and Kashmir and the success of the hard work of these decades cannot be taken by the present dispensation.
The J&K administration has released figures and according to these figures in the year 2021-22, under PMEGP, the KVIC had established 21,640 manufacturing and service units, way ahead of other bigger states. As many as 1.73 lakh new jobs in J&K were generated in FY 2021-22 under PMEGP, which is also the highest across all states and UTs in the country. Comparing the figures, an official statement of the J&K government said, “Under PMEGP of KVIC, 52,116 units have been installed from 2014 till last financial year compared to only 10,401 village units established in J&K between 2008 and 2014.”
The J&K government in its long statement has further said, “The limit for financial assistance to handicraft artists through the Artisan Credit Card was also increased from Rs one lakh to Rs two lakh; besides, 2118 handicraft artists have been given the benefit of the Mudra Yojana and 26 units have been set up through the Karkhandar scheme, which will be increased to 50 by the end of this year.”
With the help of the central government, GI certification for seven crafts, including carpets, pashmina, Sozni, Khatamband, walnut wood carving, Paper Mache, Kani Shawl has been done, 1.55 lakh artisans have been trained in 432 training centres established by the government. While the debate will go on, some big projects of connectivity between Srinagar, and Jammu and Ladakh are on the verge of completion, including the railway link between Srinagar and Jammu.