As part of the country's 73rd Independence Day celebrations, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik's Advisor Farooq Ahmed Khan hoisted the Tricolour in the state's winter capital here on Thursday as the governor unfurled the flag in Srinagar. Addressing the gathering after hoisting the national flag at the city's Mini Stadium Parade, Khan underlined the need of having sustained peace and tranquillity to realise "the cherished goals of growth and development in Jammu and Kashmir", which would acquire the new status of a Union territory from October 31.
The I-day celebrations passed off peacefully with all districts of Jammu region and Ladkah celebrating the occasion enthusiastically, said officials. Paying rich tribute to the heroes of Indian Freedom Movement, Advisor Khan said the independence achieved by their sacrifices can be protected only by maintaining peace, tranquillity and harmony in the country and Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
He also paid tributes to the personnel of JK Police, paramilitary forces and the Army, who made the supreme sacrifice to preserve the territorial integrity of the country. Khan said the recent changes made by the Union government have opened a new vista of development for the people of Jammu, Kashmir, Kargil and Ladakh.
He said a long-pending demand of the people of Ladakh has been fulfilled with the formation of the Union Territory of Ladakh. This will enable the people of Ladakh region to realize their aspirations in spite of the problems they face on account of the large and difficult terrain.
He said the Governor's Administration initiated the first of its kind “Back to Village” programme to create a sense of belonging and address the problems of people in the remote and far-flung areas. The gazetted officers of the state visited various panchayats and interacted with the people and tried to resolve their grievances, pointed out the governor's advisor.
Khan termed the "empowerment of people by establishing grassroots democracy through panchayat and civic body elections as one of the biggest achievements of the state. The state held elections to the urban local bodies and village panchayats with the voters registering 74 per cent turnout, said Khan, adding the state now has a vibrant Panchayati Raj and municipal system in place, fully empowered with complete delegation of funds, functions and functionaries.
After conducting the civic body and village panchayat election, the administration has started now the process to hold elections for block development councils (BDCs) and district development boards (DDB) which will further strengthen the democratic institutions at the grassroots level, said Khan. He said the constitution of block development councils would establish the second-tier of Panchayati Raj institutions for the implementation and monitoring of several Central schemes.
"This budding Panchayati Raj system will be the harbinger of change in J&K," he added. Khan apprised the gathering of the ongoing work on various prestigious projects in the state like new general bus stand in Jammu, girls hostel, degree colleges, IIT, IIM, 100-bedded AIIMS at Kot Bhalwal, building of four-lane Jammu-Akhnoor toad, and Jammu Ring Road.
All these and many other projects are being commissioned in full swing, he said. He said the government is organising a first ever Jammu and Kashmir Investors' Summit, 2019 to be held from October 12 and 14 to attract investments in various sectors of the economy in the state and to showcase Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as a favourable investment destination.
The investment Summit will help in strengthening this sector and generating new employment opportunities, he added. To encourage youths in sports, the indoor stadium and play fields are being constructed in each Panchayat and 25 sports projects would be completed this year.
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