SRINAGAR: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar today unfurled the National Flag on the occasion of 73rd Republic Day at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium here.
After unfurling the flag, the Advisor inspected the parade and took the salute from the contingents of JKP, BSF, CRPF, JKAP, SSB, ITBP, IRP, Women contingent, Forest Protection Force and NCC.
In his address, Advisor Bhatnagar extended the warm greetings of 73rd Republic Day to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and remarked that we are able to live in this unique country as a democratic nation only because seven decades ago on this day, our Constitution came into effect and we embarked on our journey as a Republic Nation.
Highlighting about the significance of constitution in his address, the Advisor said that the doctrine of our constitution has laid the foundation of modern India we are currently living in. “Our founding fathers and visionary leaders brought together a diversity of views on a single platform to forge a common national spirit by drafting and enacting this unique constitution which has been imbibed from generation to generation”, Advisor Bhatnagar said. He added that this day marks the celebration of the empowerment of Indian citizens to select their own government which shaped the identity of our country as a modern nation.
The Advisor remarked that these are historic times for Jammu and Kashmir as it is seeing a new dawn. Dawn that promises hope, dawn that will bring prosperity, dawn that will lead to progress and development, dawn that will usher J&K towards peace and the best way to overcome misgivings is to reaffirm our commitment to abide by the values of our Republic. He added that Jammu and Kashmir has always been an integral part of the ethos and culture of India in each and every respect embracing every religion and every tradition of varied cultures. And this peaceful co-existence here has been reflected in the lives of the inhabitants of this beautiful land.
While applauding the exemplary services of doctors, paramedics, frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic, Advisor Bhatnagar said that the whole world is confronting a deadly virus that has disrupted all activities and taken a huge toll on their lives of people.
“We must be indebted to our doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been continuously on the forefront of our fight against this virus. Unfortunately, many of our own health workers have lost their lives battling this pandemic. They are our national heroes. All Corona Warriors deserve high praise and appreciation. They go much beyond their call of duty to save lives and ensure essential services”, the Advisor said. The Advisors added that doctors, health workers, members of Disaster Management Teams, police personnel, sanitation workers, service providers, government employees, social service organizations and generous citizens have been scripting inspiring stories of courage and selfless service during this pandemic who risk their own lives to save our life and livelihood.
Highlighting the achievements of the present administration, Advisor Bhatnagar said that after the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has amplified the medical infrastructure across Jammu and Kashmir to safeguard the lives of our people and also to provide them the best possible medical care. “Our UT of J&K has fared exceptionally well in the Covid Management as No bed or Oxygen shortage was faced during the two waves of Covid 19 Pandemic. 100% administration of 1st dose of covid vaccine to the eligible population above 18 years has been achieved and the vaccination of the age group 15-18 is going on”, the Advisor said.
The Advisor added that the third wave of Covid is under control here and we need to be careful and follow COVID SOPs religiously. He also said that the PM-JAY SEHAT insurance scheme has been very successful across J&K which provides health insurance cover upto Rs 5.00 lakh per family on a floater basis. “218 hospitals are empanelled in the UT of J&K under this scheme and the benefits of the scheme are also portable across the country through a network of about 24000 hospitals. As of now, 60 lakh Golden cards have been generated and 16.36 lakhs (80%) families have been registered under PM-JAY and AB-PMJAY-SEHAT Schemes”, he said.
Asserting that the medical infrastructure across Jammu and Kashmir is being amplified, Advisor Bhatnagar said that more than 400 Health Infrastructure Projects/works worth Rs. 7177 Crores are being initiated here. Work on two new AIIMS with the project Cost of Rs 4000 Cr (Rs. 2000 Cr each) one each at Jammu Division & Kashmir Division is also going on smoothly, seven new Government Medical Colleges, Ten new Nursing Colleges and two Cancer Institutes, one each at Jammu and Kashmir Division are established here to provide best possible medical care to people. He added that out of 140 Projects under Prime Ministers Development package (PMDP), 103 projects have already been completed and rest of the projects are likely to be completed by the end of financial year 2021-22.
While talking about the ongoing developmental works in J&K, Advisor Bhatnagar said that the pace of development across Jammu and Kashmir has seen a momentous change in recent years as some infrastructural projects under different schemes have been initiated here which will change the face of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in coming years.
“A road length of 3167 kms was achieved despite adverse conditions due to COVID-19, providing connectivity to 119 unconnected habitations. J&K ranked No.3 at National level in terms of road length achieved. During Current Financial Year (CFY) 2021-22, 600 more schemes are targeted to be completed. A road length of 3500 Kms has been targeted during CFY which shall provide connectivity to remaining 187 habitations”, the Advisor said. He added that during the year 2020-21, 5035 Kms of road length was macadamised under various Central and UT Sector Schemes across J&K and for current financial year, a target of macadamisation of 8000 Km road length under various programmes has been fixed.
Highlighting about some major initiatives of government in recent months in his address, Advisor Bhatnagar said that the J&K administration made several significant policy interventions which will change the industrial and economic landscape of entire Jammu and Kashmir. “New Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of UT of J&K has been notified with an outlay of Rs. 28,400 crore which envisages incentives like Capital Investment Incentive, Capital Interest subvention, GST Linked Incentive, Working Capital Interest Incentive for the new business establishments”, he said. The Advisor added that J&K has seen major boost in Investments and in recent months, investment proposals of more than Rs 40,000 cr were received which will have direct employment potential of more than 1.60 lakhs. He also said that besides domestic, interest has been shown by foreign investors in the region and recently MoU with Government of Dubai has been signed for making investment in the region.
In his address, the Advisor also talked about some other remarkable achievements of J&K Administration like establishment of Mission Youth for catering the needs of youth of J&K, modern type of Urban Mobility through Elevated Metrolite for Srinagar and Jammu Smart Cities, the establishment of water sports centres and other achievements.
The Advisor on the occasion also applauded J&K police, Central Paramilitary Forces and the brave soldiers of our military, who offer their ultimate sacrifices to ensure the integrity and security of our nation, and ensure that the citizens of the country live a peaceful and secure life.
On the occasion, colourful cultural programme was also presented by the artists of J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages in the form of traditional Rouf, Bandpather and Dambali which mesmerised the audiences. Also, awards were presented to winners of Best March Past and Best cultural programme. The winners of online competition in the categories of Best Paintings, Best essay and Best seminars were also awarded on the occasion.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, IGP, Kashmir, Secretary Tourism, DC Srinagar, senior officers of police and civil administration, heads of various departments, government officials and large number of people were present on the occasion.