Governor greets people on Republic Day
Jammu: Governor Satya Pal Malik has extended greetings and good wishes to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of 70th Republic Day.
Following is the full text of the Governor’s Republic Day Message:
Brothers and Sisters,
On this joyous Seventieth Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to the people of Jammu & Kashmir. On this day, we remember and pay tributes to the founding fathers of the nation who fought for our freedom and handed over to us a constitution that guarantees liberty, equality andjustice.
On this special day, I convey my greetings and sincere gratitude to members of our Armed Forces and J&K Police for working tirelessly in maintaining the unity and integrity of the nation.
Our neighbouring country continues to support terrorists to disrupt peace and harmony in the state. There have been repeated attempts to infiltrate terrorists across the international Border and Line of Control. Repeated ceasefire violations have brought untold hardships to the people living in the villages along the borders. Government is taking required measures to alleviate the sufferings of the border population.
Notwithstanding the tough terrain, climate and other challenges, our Armed and Security Forces continue to maintain strict vigil and alertness on our frontiers. Our Armed and Police Forces carried out effective operations to neutralize the largest ever number of terrorists in a year.
Our Jawans have been working in extremely difficult circumstances in the State. We salute the brave army and police Jawans who have offered supreme sacrifices for maintaining peace and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir. The nation remains indebted to them. All our thoughts and prayers are with the families of such martyrs and it is incumbentupon us all to bring joy in their lives. Our hearts also go out to the families of the civilians who lost their loved ones in the wanton violence.
Since Independence in 1947, we have made rapid strides towards meeting the principles enshrined in our constitution. Deepening of democracy, success of parliamentary form of government, rule of law and people’s faith in democratic process and institutions are the biggest achievements of independent India which have not only proved the sceptics wrong but surprised many. The uniqueness of this achievement lies in the fact that every successive change of government since independence has been only through the ballot.
Deepening of democratic process and improving the quality of governance have been the prime focus of the Government. The huge turnout in the recently concluded Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State is an indicator of people’s yearning for peace and development. Despite stiff challenges, these elections were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, thanks to the overwhelming participation of the people. I congratulate the entire civil and police administration for having worked overtime to ensure successful and peaceful Panchayat and Municipal elections across the state.
Corruption is a threat that we all need to counter in the most concerted, cohesive and determined manner. This menace can be best fought when there is an appropriate institutional framework in place to act as deterrent. The first ever Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been established in the State. The establishment of ACB is one of the important elements of the Mission Good Governance and Development. The Jammu and Kashmir Vigilance Commission Act has been amended to make it more vibrant and effective. We have also amended Prevention of Corruption Act to give it more teeth.
Redressal of citizens’ grievances has been given priority. The State Grievances Cell has been constituted apart from the establishment of District Grievance Cells. My Advisors and Chief Secretary are regularly interacting with public for redressal of their problems. A Service Grievance Cell to address service related grievances of employees has also been set up.
The State Government has taken a series of measures for the welfare of Police Personnel, which includes grant of promotions at various levels, enhancement of honorarium for SPOs, enhancement of ex-gratia relief of NoKs of J&K Police Personnel, SPOs, Central Armed Police Forces & Army, killed in violence and militancy related incidents and hardship allowance. Promotions and other service related matters of the Government employees are being prioritized.
Amendments have been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act- 1989 to devolve more powers to Panchayats. The amendments will ensure well defined taxation powers to the Panchayats for generation of adequate resources by themselves.
Powers and functions of 21 departments have been devolved to the Panchayats. Over Rs. 2300 Crore development funds per annum will be transferred to Panchayats and Rs. 1200 Crore to the Urban Local Bodies for undertaking various development activities in the respective areas of their jurisdiction.
With the objective of addressing the state’s backlog in development, the massive Rs.80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package for the State is under implementation. The package includes the Government of India’s support to various critical sectors and will ensure peace, prosperity and development in the State.
The paucity of funds had stalled the completion of many infrastructural projects in the state; some of which have been languishing for more than five years. This delay in completion of these projects has deprived the people of legitimately required essential infrastructure and services in time. To address this problem inclusively, the government has constituted the Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) and authorized it to raise Rs. 8000 Crore loan for development. Till date, 1644 languishing projects in key sectors with an investment of Rs. 3631 Crore have been approved. These projects would be completed in next 18 months and bring a much needed impetus to the development requirements of the State.
One of the major achievements in the Inter-State connectivity has been achieved through completion of 1210 mtr span Pre-Stressed Bridge at Keerian-Gandial, Kathua. Land has been handed over to the National Highway Authority of India Limited for Jammu and Srinagar Ring Roads. Work on these projects has commenced.
Through its strenuous efforts, the Government has been able to provide last mile connectivity to un-electrified households and achieve 100per cent household electrification in the month of October last year under the Prime Minister Sehaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBAGHYA) much before the target date. We are committed to provide 24×7 electricity to all registered electricity consumers. Work has been allotted for more than 90per cent of projects costing over Rs. 7,000 Crore for up-gradation of power infrastructure in the State under various flagship schemes.
Jammu and Kashmir has vast Hydro Power potential. Ratle Hydro-Electric Power Project (HEP) pending for the last five years has been cleared for implementation through a joint venture with Government of India. This 850 MW Power Project will give further push to the energy sector in the State. The 624 MW Kiru HEP at a cost of Rs.4708.60 Crore has been approved for execution through Joint Venture (JV). The project offers multiple benefits in terms of power and employment generation.
Tourism is an important part of overall development and employment strategy. Government is committed to unlock the vast potential in the Sector. We have launched a sustained campaign to address the challenges posed to the sector by the negative perception regarding the obtaining situation in the valley. Our efforts have begun to pay dividends, which is evident from the fact that hotels in Pahalgam and Gulmarg are registering almost 100 percent occupancy during past couple of months.
The State Tourism Department is making concerted efforts to encourage the influx of pilgrims and tourists in the state. As against arrival of 81.78 lakh pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji during 2017, pilgrim arrivals stood at 85.87 lakh during 2018. Similarly, pilgrims for Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra increased from 2.60 lakh (2017) to 2.85 lakh (2018).
To promote tourism sector in the Ladakh region, Government of India (GoI) has approved our proposal to open up more tourist and trekking routes. An additional investment of Rs. 2000 Crore has been approved by GoI for development of new tourism infrastructure projects in the State under PMDP. The investment will increase the tourist flow to the State by way of providing them better amenities/ accommodation across the State.