My dear brothers and sisters, on the auspicious occasion of 72nd Republic Day, I convey my best wishes and congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
On this day, the policy makers of the constitution sowed the seeds of justice, freedom, equality, social democracy and prosperity of brotherhood for all people, so that from Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, the flag of development and glory of new India keeps flying high. Today on the occasion of Republic Day, every citizen should imbibe truth, non-violence, self reliance of Mahatma Gandhi and the constitutional ideas of Baba Sahib Ambedkar.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have emerged as the largest, most successful and vibrant democracy in the world by preserving the values of equality of all religions, restraint , sacrifice, discipline , unity in diversity and spirit to serve.
The year 2020 has been a year of unprecedented change in Jammu and Kashmir. Through a continuous process of change, the roots of progress have been planted in the new Jammu and Kashmir. With the Constitution of India in one hand and the Tricolour in the other, all the people of villages and towns, with dreams of progress in their eyes, have started building a new Jammu and Kashmir to fulfil their ambitions and those of the nation.
For a long time, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir were denied grassroots democracy. We have been successful in conducting a violence free, free and fair elections to District Development Councils. The high turnout of voters broke the records of many previous elections. I specially congratulate the enlightened citizens, all voters, Central Security Forces, Army, Police and Administrative officials for this. We assure all the elected representatives that with your support, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration will bring the fruits of development to the last person standing in the queue.
On the auspicious occasion of Republic Day today, I bow down to the bravery of police personnel and our security forces working day and night to create a conducive atmosphere for smooth day-to-day life and maintaining a peaceful environment. On behalf of entire Jammu and Kashmir, I pay homage to all the warriors who have sacrificed everything for the honour of our Tricolour.
We want to assure all citizens that the political conspiracies and nefarious designs of a neighbouring country will never be allowed to succeed in this land of great persons and warriors. The security agencies have effectively controlled violence and those who are trying to fulfil their political motives with the help of this proxy war, are being given a befitting reply.
Brothers and sisters, the breeze of Jammu and Kashmir has the words of sages and, in its mountains lies the music of sufi mystics. There is art in its soil and the light of lotuses in its rivers. For this reason, the great Kalhana in his book ‘Rajtarangini’, while mentioning Jammu and Kashmir, has written “Tadvina Nagram Kutra Pavitra” -Except this place, is there any city on the earth where such holy and beautiful rivers can be accessible? He writes further,”I have not seen such a city where the glory of planets in the sky is clearly visible.” The sutras of Kalhana have visions of splendour of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, in every corner of it, we can find the culture of thoughtfulness and soulful experience of our ancient civilization. Who can forget the words of famous Sufi Saint Amir Khusroo “Gar Firdous Bar Rue Zami Ast. Hami Asto, Hami Asto, Hami Ast ! If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.
The horrific tragedy of the corona virus shook our economy and social life badly for some time. But now the darkness has been dispelled. With the dawn of a new morning, we are taking forward the economy and the social welfare programs of Jammu and Kashmir. With the spirit of “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina,Sarve Santu Niramaya” , we have started the corona virus vaccination programme in Jammu and Kashmir giving top priority to public health workers. But the fight with corona is not over yet. Therefore, while repeating the words of Hon’ble Prime Minister, I would like to urge all of you – Dawaai bhi – kadaai bhi. It must be strictly followed.
A new revolution has started with the Ayushman Bharat SEHAT Scheme in the field of Public Health. This health insurance scheme is the first of its kind in the country and the world, where under all the one crore thirty lakh citizens of Jammu and Kashmir will be benefited without any discrimination.
Several decisions have been taken to make health facilities world class, and these are being implemented on the ground. Human resource is the biggest asset of our democracy. Therefore, the free facility of Raj Bhawan Helicopter has been provided for treatment of poor people in far-flung areas who often get stranded due to heavy snowfall. We are aware of the difficulties faced by you due to snowfall, and express our sympathies. I have personally been visiting and reviewing the situation on ground and have issued directions to the administration for providing all possible facilities. This year has seen better power supply compared to the previous ones, but a lot needs to be done. We are trying our best in a responsible and sincere manner and want to assure you that your difficulties shall be mitigated in the coming days. The snowfall has been declared Natural Disaster under SDRF and the affected persons are being given appropriate compensation.
With the dream of a healthy, prosperous and successful Jammu and Kashmir, the people of the Union Territory have voluntarily turned the two most important programmes of mass participation, ‘Back to Village’ and “My Town My Pride” into a mass movement. Industrial policy has again lit the lamps of expectations and we are determined to provide employment opportunities directly or indirectly to 4.5 to 5 lakh people in the coming years.
New land laws have been introduced for agricultural and industrial development in Jammu and Kashmir. The old laws were a hindrance to the development and hence, have been abolished. In order to promote industries, a land bank is being created at a massive level and we are proud that two big and five small industrial estates will be completed by March 2021. Dismissing all rumours and apprehensions, I fully assure you the safety of every inch of your land.
Today Jammu and Kashmir is a rising power, fast emerging as a national leader in technology, horticulture and new research. Two IT towers will soon be established to boost the IT industry. Along with this, IT Parks and Call Centres shall be established in all the twenty districts of the Union Territory. An agreement has been reached with the department under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region to promote bamboo industry. This will benefit the handicraft artisans and farmers and in future, industrial clusters of bamboo and bamboo industry estates will also be developed.
We want to assure all sections of Jammu and Kashmir who love their motherland immensely that they will be treated equally in all social, economic and political matters. We are implementing the Forest Rights Act for our tribal brothers and sisters living in the forests, especially the people of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities. This law, which was passed by the Parliament in 2006, did not come into force in Jammu and Kashmir earlier, keeping them deprived of their rights. By completing this process by the March of this year, we will be able to give just rights to a large community dependent on forests, for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.
Putting an end to the hollow announcements in Jammu and Kashmir, we have given a new slogan “Vaada Nahin Iraada” , and the pace with which the projects are being implemented in the last five months has never been witnessed before in its history.
The implementation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package has gained tremendous momentum. Out of 54 projects, 20 important projects have been completed and 16 others will be completed by March 2021. Eight other projects will be completed by December 2021. It is a matter of great pride that the Katra-Banihal Section of the Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Line will be completed by August 2022 connecting Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
Brothers and Sisters, you will soon see a Metro Rail running on 23 km long route in Jammu, and 25 km in Srinagar. Works are being carried out at a fast pace in AMRUT Mission and Smart City Mission to rejuvenate the cities. Keeping in view the basic amenities like sewer, waste management, rain water harvesting, transport, parks for the children, good road and greenery all around, work is being done in all the cities of Jammu and Kashmir in mission mode. Financial aid is being provided to the identified street vendors of the cities affected by corona.
The government has also launched a Mission Youth for the multi dimensional development of the youth. Under this program, a state-of-the-art youth centre will be created in every district. Six areas are being focussed on for attention viz. “employment, modern education, skill development, financial assistance, sports and recreation.” After discussing with the country’s leading private companies in Srinagar, the Government has signed an agreement with Bombay Stock Exchange, ICICI Bank and Ashok Leyland for skill development. Apart from this, two Centres of Excellence in the automobile sector will also be started in Jammu and Kashmir divisions.
Brothers and sisters, the government is determined to enable the honourable return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Kashmir Valley. As per the instructions and commitment of Hon’ble Prime Minister, we are working continuously for providing 6000 houses and 6000 jobs to them.
We are working on a policy of zero tolerance against corruption. The continuous action against corrupt people in the last few months shows the commitment of the government against corruption. Tackling corruption is a collective responsibility, so I urge all of you to cooperate with the government in making the administrative system transparent, responsible and accountable to the people. To include the public in the campaign against corruption, the Anti Corruption Bureau has recently started an app namely ‘Satark Nagrik’. The offices of Anti Corruption Bureau are being opened in every corner of the Union Territory to make the bureaucracy corruption free and keep the system clean.
In order to maintain the trust of people in institutions it is necessary that administrative work is more and more faceless and paperless. For this, the government has simplified rules, abolished many old laws and the poor are being directly benefited through D.B.T.
The role of the government in the public welfare programmes has been kept as a facilitator, so that people through their public representatives decide development works on priority. The government of Jammu and Kashmir is providing better technology, latest infrastructure and equipment to Panchayati Raj Institutions so that they work more effectively and bring better results for the welfare of people.
The achievements of the last few months are a matter of great pride, but much work remains to be done. We are striving for the overall development of every part of Jammu and Kashmir. I am confident that we will face the upcoming challenges on the foundations of good governance and public participation. Apart from this, we will also accelerate the pace of development and ambitious reforms in new areas. With deep faith in the core values of the Constitution and following high ideals and the path of duty, we will be successful in taking Jammu and Kashmir to the new heights of glory.
May this New Year bring happiness, prosperity and success to all of you. Let the youth of Jammu and Kashmir achieve their goals. With this wish, I once again wish you all a happy Republic Day. Let us take our steps forward with these words of revered Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Baadhayein aati hain, aayein
Ghirein pralaye ki ghor ghatayein
Paon ke neechey angare
Sar par barsey yadi jwalayein
Nij hathon se hanste hanste
Aag laga kar Jalna hoga
Kadam mila kar chalna hoga”