Prez lauds Army, police coordination; strict surveillance despite challenges

Mehbooba taking forward Mufti’s vision

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 19: President Ram Nath Kovind, who concluded his two-day visit to Jammu today by offering prayers at holy cave shrine of widely revered Goddess Vaishno Devi Ji, has lauded the coordination between Army, para-military forces and police and strict surveillance being maintained by them to face the very tough challenges in Jammu and Kashmir.
He had a strong word of praise for the people of Jammu and Kashmir saying they have been facing the challenges with bravery and maturity for which entire nation is proud of them.
In a series of tweets at the completion of his two-day visit to Jammu during which he addressed convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji University and attended civic reception hosted for him, the President said the armed and police forces are doing commendable job in the State.
“The Armed police and police have been displaying good coordination and surveillance to face challenges in the State and helping Jammu and Kashmir and its citizens on the path of development,” Kovind, who happens to be the Supreme Commander of three Services (Army, Indian Air Force and Navy), said without referring to difficult challenges of militancy and unrest in parts of the Kashmir valley.
Challenges notwithstanding, Kovind tweeted, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have kept their morale very high and showed enthusiasm to march ahead on the path of development. He lauded the people of the State for their bold efforts. At the same time, he also praised the State administration and employees for playing very important role for which, he said, they deserve praise.
“Jammu and Kashmir has faced the impact of uncertainties. But despite that people of the State have faced the challenges courageously and intelligently. Entire nation is proud of the people of the State for this,” he said.
Through another tweet, the President appreciated the role being played by Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh for their administrative experience and giving able leadership to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Governor NN Vohra has been using his long administrative experience for welfare of the State. I appreciate Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh for giving good leadership to the people,” Kovind tweeted.
He said “when we talk of daughters, we can’t forget Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. She has been taking forward the vision of her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed despite all difficult and tough circumstances in the sensitive State of Jammu and Kashmir and giving good leadership to the State”.
He added that Jammu and Kashmir has been a prominent center of India’s rich cultural heritage and religious traditions. The followers of different religions have been staying in the State together for years, he asserted.
Referring to developmental works undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Nath Kovind referred to setting up of IIT, IIM and AIIMS.
“With the assistance of Central Government, many Medical and Engineering Colleges are being opened, which will not only open up the prospectus of education for the youth but also generate development opportunities,” Kovind said through another tweet.
He also referred to opening of Asia’s longest tunnel (Chenani-Nashri) on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which, he said, will improve road connectivity in the State with other parts of the country. This will also promote tourism in the State and generate employment opportunities for the people, he asserted.
Kovind referred to the launch of `Kamakhaya-Katra Rail Sewa’ saying Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji shrine, has been linked by rail with many parts of the country, leading to economic development of the area.
In the morning, Kovind visited the holy cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi ji and paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum.
Kovind prayed for the progress and prosperity of the people of the country.
The President was accompanied by Savita Kovind, First Lady, Governor N. N. Vohra and Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh.
During his brief visit, the President went around the shrine complex, viewed the facilities and met the pilgrims.
Governor NN Vohra, who is Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, briefed the President about the continued initiatives being taken for upgrading and expanding the infrastructure for facilitating the progressively increasing number of pilgrims to the cave shrine.
He observed that a Master Plan has been got prepared for the Bhawan and the extended shrine area to provide planned accommodation for pilgrims at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and Jammu and Durga Bhawan is being re-constructed to enhance accommodation facilities for pilgrims at Bhawan.
Water supply is being augmented and all the lights along the tracks and in the Bhawan area have been replaced with LED lights, health care facilities for the pilgrims have been strengthened along the tracks and at Bhawan, Vohra said.
Giving details about the various social support initiatives taken by the Board, especially in the education and health sectors, the Governor referred to the establishment of Super Speciality Hospital, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University and College of Nursing at Kakryal and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul at Charanpaduka, involving an investment of nearly Rs. 1000 crores.
Regarding the upcoming major infrastructure projects, the Governor informed the President that Passenger Ropeway between Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati and Material Ropeway between Siar Dabri and Bhawan are nearing completion. He also informed the President about the ongoing Slope Stabilisation Project and installation of Shelter Sheds for ensuring safety of the pilgrims against shooting stones and landslides and, besides, the upcoming Tarakote Marg which will cost about Rs 80 crore.
The Governor observed that, under his direction, focus on environmental preservation continued to be accorded very high priority and, towards the furtherance of this objective, plantation of Trikuta Hills has been undertaken on a very large scale and green technologies are being utilised.
Earlier, on arrival at the Panchhi Helipad from Jammu, the President was received by Umang Narula, CEO of the Shrine Board.
A G Mir, ADGP, CID;  Hemant Kumar Sharma, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Prasanna Ramaswamy G, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi; Anshul Garg, Additional CEO of the Shrine Board; and other senior civil, police and Shrine Board officers were present on the occasion.