JAMMU, July 29: Former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today lauded Governor’s Administration for successful conduct of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra so far by providing facilities to pilgrims and taking decision regarding ULB elections.
He called for massive infrastructural development of spiritual destinations, saying pilgrim tourism can open up vistas of economic opportunities across the Jammu region. Bhalla said religious tourism has proved boon for Jammu economy and during most turbulent times for over a decade in nineties Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine sustained the economy of the Jammu region, as tourism influx dropped drastically due to disturbed conditions in the Valley. He said 24×7 yatra has given new dimension to the pilgrim tourism in Jammu and this has further expanded with opening up of pilgrimages to Shiv Khori, Chota Amarnath and now Chandail Mata.
He sought adequate development and creation of infrastructural facilities for the visiting pilgrims in a time bound manner. It is our duty to explain to the people about the ground realities which portray a dismal picture as people all over particularly in Jammu region are suffering due to neglect of developmental aspects. The pathetic conditions of roads, irrigation network, canals in particular, poor water and power supply, deficient health care facilities and above sharp rise in the prices of essential commodities is a clear pointer to the abject failure of the Centre and the ousted PDP-BJP Govt.
He accused BJP of once again using the communal discourse to divert people’s attention from core issues that are important to their sustenance. He said Congress steadfastly stands for secular values that ensure respect and protection of all religions as provided in the Constitution. Bhalla said any attempt of the BJP to divide people on religion and caste lines would be strongly fought by the Congress. He alleged that treachery and deceit of BJP is still haunting Jammu people.