JAMMU, JANUARY 25: Governor N. N. Vohra, today observed that it is the duty of all citizens to protect and preserve the unity and integrity of the nation, adding that towards the attainment of such an objective all of us must join hands to negate all divisive and communal forces and promote societal harmony and brotherhood.
Greeting the people on the 67th Republic Day, in a message, the Governor said that it is equally important that we learn to settle all our disputes and disagreements, such as they may be, through dialogue and discussion. He said that it is necessary to remember that we shall be able to achieve growth and development and eradicate poverty and illiteracy only if peace and normalcy prevails in the land.
Referring to the development scenario in the State, the Governor observed that for the past over two and a half decades, the growth and development of Jammu and Kashmir has been adversely affected by the continuing proxy war launched by our western neighbour. He said that in the past year, besides the repeated incidents of cross border firing and attempts at infiltration, there were five terror attacks: two across the LoC in the Tangdhar sector, two across the IB in Samba and Kathua, and one at Udhampur.
The Governor said that India remains committed to maintaining friendly relations with all its neighbours and our Prime Minister has launched fresh initiatives for securing peaceful relations with Pakistan. It is hoped that his endeavours will bear fruit and people of Jammu and Kashmir would be able to live and work in a peaceful environment in the coming time.
For accelerating the restoration and reconstruction programmes, the Prime Minister of India, during his visit to Srinagar in November 2015, announced a Special Package of over Rs. 80,000 crore which will support humanitarian and multi-sectoral growth initiatives for promoting an environment of certainty and stability, the Governor said. He added that this Special Package includes provision of relief to the flood affected, refugees and migrants and implementation of projects for development of social and economic infrastructure. It provides approximately Rs.42,700 crore for the construction of roads, highways and tunnels and securing substantial enhancement of connectivity in the coming years.
The Governor observed that growth and the pace of development will improve significantly also when the governmental machinery starts performing with speed, efficiency and accountability. He emphasized that to restore the people’s faith and trust in the functioning of the administrative apparatus it is of vital importance to eradicate corruption and visibly improve the functioning of the public delivery systems.
Emphasizing the need for empowerment of people, the Governor said that governance shall become more effective and productive when the people are adequately empowered and are involved both in decision making and in the implementation of developmental schemes and programmes. He said that towards this objective, it is necessary to undertake the now very long pending elections to Urban Local Bodies and to urgently carry out reforms in the existing urban administration and taxation framework. He said that side by side, timely elections to Panchayats and the establishment of Panchayati Raj Institutions will enable the people at the village level to themselves determine their developmental priorities and also monitor implementation of the various works and programmes which are meant to promote their welfare. He hoped that both these objectives shall be attained during the current year.
The Governor thanked the J&K Police, Central Armed Police Forces and the Army, for their devotion and continuing sacrifices and urged them to continue maintaining a close vigil on the frontiers. He also complimented the people who live in the border areas for their courage and cooperation.
The Governor said that on the joyous occasion of Republic Day we must pay homage to the great leaders who carried out a prolonged struggle to liberate India from the colonial rule. He said that we must also pay tribute to the founding fathers of the Constitution of India who set for us the goals of nationhood.He greeted the people of Jammu and Kashmir on this occasion and prayed that this year will usher peace and normalcy and bring happiness and prosperity to one and all.