For more than two months now, the one question everyone has been asking in Jammu and Kashmir is if and when will a government be formed. But in this period of Governor’s rule, a lot has happened on the ground with officials quietly pushing works to rule out a state in a limbo for want of an elected government.
From working on expansion of the Jammu airport to the dredging of Jhelum, setting a deadline for the Army to vacate land to distribution of cash relief among the flood-hit, officials are being asked by Raj Bhavan to fast-track files. One official said Governor N N Vohra asked administrative heads of departments for a list of works and has been “following up regularly”.
Here are some of the works that officials, prodded by the Raj Bhavan, have got off the ground:
Vacating land: Vohra has fixed a March 31 deadline for the Army to vacate large tracts in the Valley, Jammu and Kargil. These include 1,696 kanal in Srinagar, 456.60 kanal in Anantnag, 130 kanal in Jammu, and land at Lower Khurba Thang in Kargil.
Jammu masterplan: The masterplan has been revised five years ahead of schedule. It proposes to increase the area of the summer capital from 305 sq km to 652.32 sq km for an estimated population of 20.50 lakh. For this, 103 villages of Jammu and Samba districts will be part of Greater Jammu.
2014 flood relief: Disbursement had been hanging fire for over a year. Deputy Commissioners have transferred financial assistance of Rs 599.16 crore into bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) — 54,335 people whose houses were damaged, 23,112 traders in the Valley.
TAMEIR plan: Implementation of the Rs 80,000-crore developmental package announced by the Prime Minister. The Aggregative Multi-sector Economic & Infrastructure Rebuilding (TAMEIR) plan is being monitored by a panel of officials headed by the Chief Secretary.
Jhelum dredging: Against a target of dredging 10.13 lakh cubic metre of silt by March 2016, over 7.39 lakh cubic metre of silt had been removed from Jhelum — between Khanabal and Banyari and the channel between Pohru and Janbazpora in Baramulla. Two spot inspections have been done by Vohra himself.
Monthly ration: Monthly ration under the National Food Security Act was fixed at 5 kg per head, leading to protests in the Valley since a family used to get 35 kg earlier. It has been increased to 7 kg per head so that a family of five gets 35 kg ration every month from April 1.
Local body polls: The Chief Electoral Officer has been asked to prepare for municipal and panchayat elections. EVMs will be used for the first time in municipal elections following amendment of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act and the J&K Municipal Corporation (Election) Rules.