Venkateswara temple to be constructed in 18 months
PM taking personal interest in UT’s development: Dr Jitendra
Historic & proud day, will change economy of the region: LG
JAMMU, June 13: Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said today that militancy and infiltration are on decline in Jammu and Kashmir and security situation across the country has witnessed lot of positive changes while Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking personal interest in ensuring equitable development of the Union Territory.
Click here to watch video
Both were speaking to media persons after performing ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony for construction of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) at Majeen near Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu City this morning.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha described the foundation stone laying ceremony as “historic and proud day for J&K” saying this will open opportunities across various sectors and change economy of the region.
The Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple and its allied infrastructure will be built on a 62.06-acre piece of land at Majeen. The temple’s administration will be under the TTD that also manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters on sidelines of the function, Reddy said the security scenario in the country has witnessed a lot of positive changes over the past two years with improved law and order situation and declining violence by militants and left wing extremists.
He also said the renewed focus would be shifted towards the development of Jammu and Kashmir to fulfill the aspirations of people after the ongoing fight against COVID-19 is won by the country.
“There are a lot of changes in the country over the last two years and barring one or two incidents, nothing had happened anywhere in the country,” he said.
Responding to a question about the changing security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir due to the efforts of the Centre, the Minister of State for Home said the situation has improved across the country.
“Take any issue – an incident, infiltration and all other angles – internal, hinterland, insurgency and left wing extremism – the terrorist incidents are not happening except along the border. A lot of changes have taken place in the country with the improvement in law and order, declining terrorism and no bomb blast over the past two years. Leave aside one or two incidents, nothing has happened,” Reddy said.
Referring to Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories in August 2019, the Union Minister said the Centre had planned a lot of things but unfortunately the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gave a setback.
“Under the orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 36 Central Ministers visited every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir to get the feedback and know the developmental needs of the people,” he said.
Reddy said the Centre had already made a lot of allocations to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh but COVID-19 caused a lot of problems and the integrated development as planned could not happen.
“But with the blessings of God, the fight against the virus will be won and a renewed focus will be made towards development and fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Reddy said.
Terming the construction of Balaji Temple in Jammu as a “significant development”, he said it would become a major centre on the circuit of various religious shrines in Jammu and Kashmir and give a boost to religious tourism.
“Ved Pathshala will also be established here and the devotees thronging the Vaishno Devi shrine will have an opportunity to pay obeisance at Balaji temple as well. It will develop into a religious circuit and generate economic activities for the people,” Reddy said
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking personal interest in the equitable development of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Government takes all care to ensure every region in the country gets its share of Central resources.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the establishment of the temple will open new vistas for the Union Territory’s Jammu region.
“The Prime Minister is taking a personal interest in the equitable development of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government headed by him takes every care to ensure that every region, including Jammu, receives its due share of Central resources,” Dr Jitendra Singh said after participating in the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ and the foundation laying ceremony for the temple.
He said the entire Jammu region is known as the land of temples and today, to this series of landmarks of faith, beginning from the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine to the Shri Raghunath ji temple, a new milestone of faith has been added in the name of Lord Balaji.
“I am sure, this will herald the auspicious beginning of a new era marked by peace and prosperity, and also signal the beginning of the end of the long drawn COVID pandemic,” the Union Minister said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) board is known for its reputation of holistically developing a place acquired by it and going beyond establishing the place of worship to provide health, education and livelihood facilities.
The TTD manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
“To that extent, this also marks the opening of new vistas for the Jammu region,” he said
Describing the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple here as a “historic and proud day” for Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the temple is expected to be constructed in 18 months in two phases at a cost of Rs 33.22 crore.
Sinha said the construction of the temple would open up opportunities across sectors and would certainly change the economy of the region.
In a series of tweets, the office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor said the much-awaited ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ ceremony of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was held at Majeen here.
“Took part in Bhoomi Pujan and unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone in presence of Union MoS Dr Jitendra Singh, Union MoS G Kishan Reddy, Chairman TTD Board and other dignitaries,” Sinha said.
He expressed sincere gratitude towards TTD Board and the Union Government for fulfilling the long pending wish of people of J&K and north India for establishing the temple of Lord Balaji on the land of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.
“It is a historic and proud day for J&K. Lord Balaji’s divine blessing is a state of inner celebration. Ved Pathshala in the second phase will strengthen the foundation of Indian culture,” the Lt Governor said.
Sinha said the construction of the temple would also open up opportunities across sectors and it will certainly change the economy of the region.
He informed that the TTD Board will establish a Gurukul/Veda Pathshala to promote the Sanskrit language and ancient culture of Vedic teachings and learning. The Board, he said, has also agreed to set up centres of excellence in the field of healthcare on the lines of similar centres in Andhra Pradesh.
“Lord Balaji’s divine blessing is a state of inner celebration. Ved Pathshala in the second phase will strengthen the foundation of Indian culture. Construction of the temple will also open up opportunities across sectors and change economy of the region,” Sinha said.
He added that the temple will become a major religious and pilgrimage destination attracting lot more tourists, which will ultimately give boost to the religious and pilgrimage tourists besides providing ample livelihood opportunities and socio-economic upliftment of the people of the region.
The Lieutenant Governor said that except for the main Pujaris of the temple and the Core Supervision Team, it will also have a large number of local people for management, thus, providing direct and indirect opportunities to the people of the region.
Earlier in the morning, the foundation stone for the Lord Venkateswara temple of the TTD was laid at village Majeen.
TTD Trust Board chairman Y V Subba Reddy along with other Board members, including legislators, attended the ceremony. Many local political leaders, civil and police officers and heads of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions were also part of the event.
The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council, headed by the Lt Governor, on April 1 had approved a proposal to allot land to the TTD for building the temple and its allied infrastructure on lease basis for a period of 40 years.
Subsequently, 62.02 acres of land at Majeen was given to the TTD for building the temple, amenities for pilgrims, a Veda Pathshala, a spiritual and meditation centre, an office, residential quarters and parking.
The arrival of the TTD in Jammu and Kashmir will tap the tourism potential, particularly pilgrim tourism in Jammu, besides enhancing economic activities, an official spokesman said.
“Once developed, the TTD infrastructure will be an attraction for pilgrims and tourists in addition to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Amarnathji Shrine,” he said, adding that this development will contribute to the economic growth of the region.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina, who was among those who attended the event, said, “Jammu is a City of Temples and the addition of the most revered Balaji temple in the city would benefit the people.”
He said the construction of Balaji temple is a blessing for the Union Territory and its adjoining States as people will get an opportunity to pray here instead of travelling to Andhra Pradesh.
Raina said the allied infrastructure, including educational institutions and hospitals, would benefit people and generate economic activities.
“It will be an addition in the circuit of various important religious places, including the Vaishno Devi shrine, Bawe Wali Mata, Raghunath temple and Shri Amarnath shrine,” he said.
National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana expressed hope that the local people would be provided jobs and ample opportunities in the construction activities of the temple.
“We are hopeful that it will become a major attraction for the people of northern India and will give a boost to religious tourism,” he said.
Spreading over 62 acres of land at village Majeen in Jammu, the temple is expected to be completed in 18 months in two phases, at the cost Rs 33.22 cr.
The prestigious project will include a host of pilgrimage facilities and other Educational & Developmental infrastructure like Veda Pathshala- classrooms, hostel building & staff quarters; pilgrims’ amenities complex, Kalyanamandapam, Vahanamandapam etc.
Pertinently, the Government of J&K has granted the land to the TTD Board in Village Majeen on a lease basis for a period of 40 years.
Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member of Parliament; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC; Bharat Bhushan, Chairman, DDC Jammu; members of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board; members of various political and social organisations were also present during the ceremony.
BVR Subrahmanayam, OSD in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor, besides Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, and Deputy Commissioner Jammu attended the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.