of Jammu & Kashmir State
Dear Brothers and
Today, when we
celebrate our 67th Republic
Day, I convey my greetings and good wishes to the people of Jammu and
joyous occasion we must pay homage to the great leaders who carried out
a prolonged struggle to liberate India from the colonial rule. We must
also pay tribute to the founding fathers of the Constitution of India
who set for us the goals of nationhood.
It is the
duty of all citizens to protect and preserve the unity and integrity of
the Nation. 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. It is equally important that we learn
to settle all our disputes and disagreements, such as they may be,
through dialogue and discussion. 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.
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. 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.
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 the people of Jammu and Kashmir would be
able to live and work in a peaceful environment in the coming time.
to the colossal damage caused by the floods in September 2014, in the
past year the Government was faced with varied problems, among which a
major challenge related to the repair and reconstruction of public
infrastructure, particularly re-opening roads and bridges which had been
washed away. Soon after the floods, peaceful elections to the State
Assembly were conducted and, after a brief spell of Governorís Rule, the PDP-BJP Coalition took over the reins of Government on 1st March,
2015. Unfortunately, after a brief illness, Chief Minister Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed suddenly passed away in early January this year.
Consequently, the State is presently under Governorís Rule, which I hope
shall not be for long.
erstwhile Government had commenced certain initiatives, economic
investment and growth has not so far taken off for varied reasons, which
include inadequate financial resources, poor connectivity, high
transportation cost of raw materials and acute shortage of power.
past several years the State Government has been implementing various
Central schemes for providing opportunities to the unemployed youth to
develop and upgrade their skills. Some progress has been achieved but
the unemployment levels remain high and much more needs to be done, and
at a faster pace.
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. 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.
weather pattern during 2015 amply demonstrated that there is marked
climate change which is already affecting agricultural productivity. It
has, therefore, become necessary to initiate timely steps for countering
the adverse impact of the phenomenon of global warming and climate
change. It is also necessary to lose no more time in speedily
implementing a number of viable Hydro Electric Power and Solar Power
projects. Close attention also needs to be given towards improving the
standards of school, college and university education and reorganising
the entire medical education and health sector.
the pace of development will improve significantly also when the
governmental machinery starts performing with speed, efficiency and
accountability. To restore the peopleís 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
shall become more effective and productive when the people are
adequately empowered and are involved both in decision making and in the
implementation of development schemes and programmes. 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. 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. I hope that both these objectives shall be attained during the
the J&K Police, Central Armed Police Forces and the Army, for their
devotion and continuing sacrifices and urge them to continue maintaining
a close vigil on the frontiers. I also compliment the people who live in
the border areas for their courage and cooperation.
conclusion, I once again greet the people of Jammu and Kashmir and pray
that this year will usher peace and normalcy and bring happiness and
prosperity to one and all.