Unemployment, power shortage are serious challenges: Governor

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Governor, NN Vohra Saturday said that state despite certain constraints has been able to achieve economic growth of 6.14 percent during 2012-13, which is higher than all India average.
Governor has stated this in his message to people on the 65th Indian Republic Day, according to an official statement issued here.
However, he said, for Jammu and Kashmir to forge ahead on a sustained basis it need to do much better and systematically tackle several serious challenges, particularly the problems of unemployment and the acute shortage of power in Jammu and Kashmir.
The governor said to address the unemployment problem a number of Centrally supported and State Government schemes are being implemented, among which are UDAAN, UMEED, HIMAYAT, Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Program for the Youth (SKEWPY), J&K Self-Employment Scheme and the Seed Capital Fund Scheme. In the rural sector, the Union Ministry of Rural Development is assisting the State to train rural youth for upgrading their skills and enhancing their employability. For this purpose, the Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) have been established in almost all the districts of the state. It is hoped that the effective implementation of all these schemes will result in very considerably reducing the number of unemployed youth in the coming time, governor said.
The governor said that J&K is a large state with three distinct geographical regions, each of which has many areas with extremely difficult terrain and severe weather conditions and which get totally cut-off for nearly six months every year.
If satisfactory growth and development is to be achieved, it is of crucial importance that all the three regions of the State and the various difficult areas in each region are well connected with a reliable network of roads, bridges and tunnels. In this context, it is a matter for considerable satisfaction that the historical Mughal Road, which will connect the Rajouri and Poonch areas with Kashmir Valley, has been almost completed; the 4-laning of the National Highway-1A is progressing at a steady pace and the National Railway Project, which shall provide rail connectivity between J&K and the rest of the country, is also making rapid progress. Across the Pir Panjal mountains a state-of-the-art all weather railway tunnel now connects the Kashmir Valley with the Jammu region and, early next month, the existing railway network will be extended from Udhampur to Katra, which would enable lakhs of pilgrims from the far corners of the country to travel by rail direct to the base town for the journey to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Work on the Zojila tunnel to connect Kashmir Valley with the Ladakh region is also expected to commence this summer. All these projects are supported by the Government of India, he said.