Srinagar, May 23: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday said that Kashmir is no more the land of hartals, school closures and separatist activities while security agencies have succeeded to a great extent to destroy the “terror ecosystem.” He said the primary focus of the J&K administration since the past three years has been on four P’s—Peace, Progress, Prosperity and the People first.
Addressing the press conference at Raj Bhawan here, the Lt Governor said that at present people of J&K are reaping the benefits of real democracy for the first time in the past seven decades. “Three-tier Panchayat Raj System has been established for the first time to take governance to the grassroots level. People are enjoying the peaceful atmosphere in J&K,” he said.
The LG said that Kashmir is no more the land of hartals, school closures and separatist activities. “Business is flourishing with each passing day. Shops remain open every day as hartals have become a part of history. Children are attending schools and colleges every day. Youth are pursuing their careers in higher studies. Separatist activities have come to an end forever,” he said. “As far as the terror ecosystem, the security grid has succeeded to destroy it to a large extent.”
Expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister Narendera Modi for choosing Srinagar for the meeting of Third Tourism Working group of G-20, the Lt Governor said that the event will help boost the tourism potential of J&K that includes eco-tourism, film tourism and green tourism. “I am hopeful that the representatives of foreign countries that are part of G-20 event in Srinagar will help lift the negative travel advisories imposed on J&K by some foreign countries. I am glad to see that the representatives of some foreign countries who have imposed travel advisory on J&K, are also participating in the Srinagar event,” the Lt Governor said.
He said that the UT administration has been focusing on four P’s since the past four years that entails–“Peace, Progress, Prosperity and Peoples first.” “We are opening up 300 new destinations to promote film tourism,” he said.
To a query since administration hopes to see 20 million tourist arrivals in the ensuing year, whether J&K lacks the proper infrastructure including hotels to accommodate the guests, the LG said: “We are upgrading the tourist infrastructure at a great pace. In the next two years, world class hotels will come up. We are auctioning the land to see some five star hotels in Srinagar and Jammu,” he said.
On upgrading the transport system in Srinagar, he said from the month of August, E-buses will ply in Srinagar and Jammu. Replying to the query about high air-fares, the Lt Governor said that the administration is aware of the issue and will soon streamline the air-fare. “This has happened as Go-Air has stopped its operations in J&K,” he said.
On press freedom in J&K and arrest of journalists, the Lt Governor said that 400 newspapers are being published in the UT. “There is absolute press freedom in the UT. Only three journalists are serving detention and anti-terror agencies are probing their case. Freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Indian constitution,” he said.
Asked about Pakistan’s objection to G-20 events in Srinagar, the Lt Governor said: “Pakistan should first address the issues of food and edibles back home.” Chipping-in, the Chief Coordinator of theG-20 event, Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that Pakistan has no locus-standi to question or talk about G-20 in Srinagar. G-20 event has nothing to do with Pakistan.”
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