New Delhi Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a complete turnaround in the past five years and is no longer a terrorism hotspot, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.
He made the remarks at the launch of the week-long “J-K Sambhaav Utsav-2024”, which is being organised by the Resident Commission of Jammu and Kashmir at the J-K House here.
The programme will highlight the transformation that has taken place in Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past four to five years, Sinha told reporters.
“Today Jammu and Kashmir is seen as a model in urban transformation, innovation, start-ups, agriculture and industrial development, and has created a niche (for itself) in tourism. The achievements of the youth, women and farmers of J-K are inspiring the country,” the Lt Governor said.
He said now Jammu and Kashmir is seen as a tourism hotspot and not a terrorism hotspot.
“Last year, a record 2.11 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. The arrival of foreign tourists in the Union Territory (UT) has also increased manifold. Gurez and Lolab Valley were chosen as the most beautiful offbeat destinations of the country in the last two years,” Sinha said.
He said the UT has witnessed a complete turnaround in terms of development after 2019.
“A big section of J-K’s population who were neglected earlier have been empowered. People’s participation is now shaping the future of J-K’s growth journey,” Sinha said.
In 2019, Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated and the state was bifurcated into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Lt Governor also launched information-cum-facilitation hub “Hello J-K”, digital photography, painting and singing competitions on the theme “Know Jammu-Kashmir” and inaugurated various new projects undertaken by J-K’s Resident Commission.
He congratulated the officials of the Resident Commission of Jammu and Kashmir and all the associated departments of the J-K government.
The seven-day event will represent the very best of cultural, artistic heritage, cuisine, agriculture and handicraft products of Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha said.
“The Sambhaav Utsav will also put the spotlight on the future of J-K, which is readying to contribute in a ‘Viksit Bharat’. It is a perfect occasion to reiterate our resolve to revive the ancient heritage and preserve it for the generations to come,” the Lt Governor said.
He said the “Hello J-K” initiative will connect the youth of Jammu Kashmir with experts from various fields, both online and offline, facilitating an exchange of knowledge, insights and opportunities.
“It will be a one-stop centre for education, entrepreneurship, livelihood, health and wellness, tour and travel guidance, and safety and security of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir living outside the UT,” he said.
The Lt Governor also highlighted the key initiatives of his administration including those for agriculture development, GI-tagging of niche products, better market linkage, capacity building of farmers and promotion of local products.
“I am confident that in the next four years, J-K will be number one in terms of farmers’ income in the country,” he said.
The tourism, agriculture, horticulture, and information and technology departments among others are showcasing their activities at the event.
Products such as those under the ‘One District One Product’ programme, handmade GI-tagged carpets, GI-tagged Pashmina shawls, silk sarees, chain stitches and crewel woodcarving items have been put on display.