A lot has changed in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A) on August 5, 2019, and experts believe much more are lined up to make the region progressive.
It's three years now and the Union Territory has seen overall development like speedy construction of highways, improvement of the healthcare and education sector with world-class infrastructure and more participation in sports activities by the local youth.
With the sharp decline in terror-related activities and no protests and stone pelting incidents, the tourism sector in the Kashmir Valley has touched new heights.
Professor Parikshat Singh Manhas, an academician and policy analyst told ANI, "People have started feeling the fact that the economic scenario is going to change or is changing. Certain policies are coming into place and the development has been, obviously, a lot of things have been working on paper but still, these thoughts need to be built up and these thoughts need to be actually put into action".
According to the information provided in Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, 53 projects worth Rs 58,477 crores in various sectors such as roads, power, health, education, tourism, agriculture, skill development is being implemented in Jammu and Kashmir under the Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP).
Investors from the rest of the country and even abroad have been showing keen interest in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Territory has received investment applications of more than Rs. 54,000 crores following the notification of a new central sector scheme for its industrial development in February 2021. Out of them, projects of over Rs 36,000 crore have been allotted industrial land.
The UT administration has committedly worked towards generating employment and other avenues for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since August 5, 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration has recruited 29,806 people whereas 5.2 lakh employment was estimated to have been created through various self-employment schemes.
This has changed the perception of the people of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 (A).
Professor Manhas said, "People of Jammu and Kashmir obviously in some ways feel wanted now and understand the fact that they are an integral part of the Union of India".
"We all can stand under one flag, that's the most important thing. Vis-a-vis, facilities and rights are concerned, obviously, rights are there, rights have come and lots of positive things are accrued to people of Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
Experts even believe that the government has announced a lot of development projects and policies and the time has come for its implementation on the ground to benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir may not be enjoying better facilities at this moment, but these facilities are improving day by day. Roads are being built and more coming up. What I mean is if more professionals are involved and more people are taken on board and more experts especially from Jammu and Kashmir are taken on board I think these things will move up at a very fast pace in a very positive manner, in a more progressive manner," said Prof Manhas.
He concluded that these things will make the people of Jammu and Kashmir more empowered, especially the youngsters.
In August 2019, the Central government scrapped Article 370 which gave special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two categories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.