Underscoring the need to revive the tradition of celebrating festivals at historic places, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh said Baisakhi is an important event of the region and all sections of the society join together in the festivities.
He said the jubilations have special importance for Billawar region, as the people here have been celebrating the day together since times immemorial.
Dr Nirmal Singh said in his address after inaugurating historical two day Baisakhi Festival at Billawar.
Highlighting historical importance of Billawar town, the Deputy Chief Minister said reference of the town is found in several historical chronicle of the sub-continent.
"Owing to its historical importance, the area has vast tourism potential and the government has taken effective initiatives to tap it," he said adding that the region is world famous for its religious tourism.
Dy CM also cut a cake to mark the symbolic celebration of the birth of girl child as part of Baisakhi celebration under Laadli Beti Yojana.
He encouraged all the stakeholders to celebrate the birth of girl child in their home. He further said that in today`s world girl and boy have equal potential and it depends on the upbringing of the children by their parents.
A cultural programme featuring Dogri folk songs and dances by the local artist was the key attraction of the Mela.
Dy CM also extended Baisakhi greetings to the people of the state. He said state government is keen to develop the areas of religious and tourist importance, for which several projects have been undertaken.
He said that sincere effort will be made to make the Baisakhi Mela and other cultural festivals a regular and important feature on the state culture calendar. He directed the officers of Tourism department to bring the Baisakhi Mela under the ambit of Tourism department as it will help in resuscitating tourism.
Listing developmental initiatives taken in the area he said 22 PMGSY roads involving a cost of Rs 102 crore, an indoor stadium worth Rs 4 crore besides Juthana Bridge at the cost of Rs 46 crore along with several other projects will make Billawar a model constituency and help in uplifting the socio-economic conditions of the people.
For augmenting drinking water availability, DyCM said that major amount of his CDF will be utilized for improving the PHE infra to improve supply to the far flung and uncovered areas.
Exhorting upon the officers to work with professionalism and honesty while performing their duties, DyCM warned them against any type of laxity and wrongdoings.
Speaking on the occasion, MLC, Pardeep Sharma congratulated the people on the occasion of Baisakhi.
Different government departments had installed stalls showcasing their working, schemes and programmes. Information Department along with students of private schools presented cultural programme which was applauded by the audience.