(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
LIEUTENANT Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said that the security forces have launched a final assault on militancy and its eco-system to ensure“everlasting peace” in the union territory. In his address at the Republic Day, Sinha said the morale of security forces in J&K was high and all efforts to destabilize the peace would be given a befitting reply. He said the J&K situation was returning to normal and the evil designs of the enemy were being foiled. J&K, he said, had witnessed a 55 percent drop in civilian killings in 2022 and a significant decrease in the killing of security forces personnel as well. Sinha talked about the development in the UT for good measure saying the administration has launched a series of development initiatives, among them the metros for Srinagar and Jammu and the tubes on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
This is also borne out by a recent report by Ministry of Home Affairs. On the development front, the report says that the BJP government at the centre has brought an investment of Rs 56,000 crores in just three years. Under the Prime Minister's Development Package in Jammu, the report mentions, J&K got about 63 projects in hydroelectricity at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.
True, J&K has come a long way over the last four years. Situation is incrementally headed towards normalcy but we are not there yet. Ever since the withdrawal of J&K autonomy in August 2019, around 500 militants have been killed in the UT, most of them local youth. Though this has reduced the number of militants, the violence has lingered. There has been some uptick in the violence off and on but this hasn't dented the larger drift of normalcy in the union territory yet. Even when the violence has become more conspicuous in recent months – for example, the recent attack in Jammu – it is still on the margins in so far as its impact on daily life.
Tourism is at an all time high after many years. Last year, over one crore people visited J&K. Most hotels, according to UT's tourism department, are booked through winter. According to the tourist officials, this is the highest number of tourists Kashmir has received so far, beating by far even the pre-turmoil period record. This generated employment for the thousands of people who had lost their jobs during the Covid pandemic. And as things stand, tourism will continue. And this would make a wealth of difference to the economic well-being of people. Here's hoping for a truly peaceful year ahead.
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