Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday directed immediate installation of mobile towers in the frontier Machil in Kupwara district to provide mobile telephony connectivity to the remote area. Sinha made the announcement during his visit to Machil in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on the fourth day of the ‘Back to Village’ programme which aims to take governance to the doorsteps of the people in the union territory.

The announcement of mobile connectivity in the area comes days after the areas of Machil and Keran got electricity through National Electricity Grid — ending their 70 years-long wait for power.

An official spokesman said during the visit, Sinha took note of the long-pending issues of the local population and announced local recruitment rallies in armed forces for the unemployed youth of the area.

“The Lt Governor also issued directions for immediate installation of five mobile towers in the area, fulfilling a much-needed demand of the people of the area, who had been ruing for mobile connectivity for the past several decades,” the spokesman said.

Referring to the Kupwara-Baramulla Rail Line, Sinha said it was the UT administration’s top priority for which the initial survey has already been undertaken.

He inaugurated some projects such as the 33 KV Khumriyal-Machil line costing Rs 4.72 crore which connects the area to the National Grid, BSNL V- Sat for internet, 24 bunkers/alternate secure shelters sheds, Panchayat assets worth Rs 80.65 lakh created in the last one year, the spokesman said, adding, Gram panchayat action plan 2021-22 of Machil was also unveiled on the occasion.

He congratulated the people of Machil and Keran for getting electricity through National Electricity Grid. He assured that the efforts are also underway to connect remaining habitations with the Power Grid as well.

Underlining the water deficit topography of the district, the Lt Governor called for installing solar-powered water pumps to provide water to deficit areas of the district.

The LG said he wanted to create an ecosystem in J-K, which promotes self-employment, enterprises, manufacturing, industries and also bridges the skill gaps to make rural areas of the Union Territory ‘Atmanirbhar’.

He said there is a need to work on the promotion of local crafts and imparting traditional skill training to generate self-employment.

He said Kupwara figures in the list of best performing aspirational districts and it will be turned into a modern industrial hub for walnut production and processing.

In the last three months, 246 local youths, including 122 girls, have been trained for village entrepreneurship, he added.

The Lt Governor also distributed Kisan Credit Cards, Sports Kits, and handed over financial assistance, various certificates, and sanction letters to beneficiaries under different departmental schemes.

“We do not lack funds, but awareness and planned execution. Rs 200 crore have been allotted for development of village industries in J-K; going to secure investment of more than Rs 25 thousand crores very soon,” the Lt Governor said.

Sinha said he understands the difficulties faced by Kupwara due to its proximity to the border.

“I come with a promise that the government is striving to connect Kupwara and other remote areas of J-K with the nation through all-round development. The government is focusing on promoting key sectors, including food processing, identified for investment which would help generate lots of employment avenues within the district.

“Let us make a promise to ourselves that we will work with dedication and honesty to make our education system robust and professionally competent,” he said.

The spokesman said, during the visit, the locals of the area expressed gratitude to the LG for the recent announcement regarding the use of Raj Bhavan choppers during medical emergencies and evacuation situations, especially during winters.

Later, the Lt Governor met with various public delegations from remote areas and took stock of their issues and developmental needs.

He assured them that all their genuine issues and demands will be addressed on merit and all efforts shall be made to provide the best rural road connectivity, bunkers, and other necessary infrastructure, the spokesman said.