Rajouri, The 68th Republic Day was celebrated throughout Rajouri district with traditional fervor. The main function was organized at District Police Lines, Rajouri which was attended by a large number of people.
Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali unfurled the tricolor and took salute at the march past comprising contingents of Jammu Kashmir Police (JKP), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Jammu Kashmir Forest Protection Force (JKFPF) National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the children from various educational institutes of the district.
Kuldeep Raj Gupta, Vice-Chairman Board for Development of Pahari Speaking People, Vibodh Gupta, Member Legislative Council, Uttam Chand, DIG Rajouri-Poonch range, Shabir Ahmed Bhatt, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Suleiman Choudhary, Senior Superintendent of Police, officers of army and paramilitary forces and district and sectoral officers beside senior citizens, political and social activists were present.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister said the Constitution has made India a role model for world. The essence of the Constitution lay in four principles, democracy, freedom of faith, gender equality and an economic upsurge for those trapped in the curse of dire poverty.
“India is a country with diversity comprising different regional, ethnic, cultural, linguistic groups but on this day, the regional identity takes a back seat and what matters most is the universal appeal of unity and brotherhood projected by all Indians”, he said.
Paying rich tributes to the architect of the country’s constitution, the minister said on this day the constitution of India came into force and India became truly a Sovereign, Democratic, Republic Country.
Seeking cooperation of people for realizing the cherished dreams of the architects of constitution, the minister said people’s participation is very essential to rapid development in all spheres of life.
He said the basic pillars of secularism and socialism enshrined in the constitution have ensured equitable and systematic progress of the people. “We are proud to be part of a vibrant democracy world with our political legal and economic institutions flourishing, which provide platform for every citizen to live a dignified life,” he said.
Felicitating the people of the border district for maintaining communal harmony despite provocations, Zulfkar said peace in J&K has unfortunately become an eyesore for some vested interests who constantly try to sabotage peace and harmony in the state. He called upon the people to defeat the designs of these nefarious elements inimical to peace by strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and religious tolerance.
He said J&K has witnessed tremendous progress since the coalition government is in position which is committed towards development reconciliation. “The government is very much committed to implement the Agenda of Alliance which lays emphasis on bringing confidence, trust and harmony amongst the people through inclusive growth,” he said and added that the aim of the coalition government is to provide the people with a transparent accountable and responsive administration besides providing basic facilities like drinking water electricity and rural connectivity to all the inaccessible areas.
Highlighting the achievements of the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, the Minister said with the implementation of National Food Security Act in the state, the Government is providing subsidized food grains to about 74.13 lakh souls at the rate of Rs 3/kg rice and Rs 2/kg Atta. “In order to completely fulfill the requirement of food grains the present government under the visionary and dynamic leadership of our Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti launched Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme to provide additional 5 kg food grains per soul over and above the NFSA scale to BPL, PHH and NPHH rationees having family size 1-6,” he said and added that the department is striving hard for bringing transparency in the distribution of food grains and to weed out pilferage and black marketing.
The Minister said that the Government has also designated Deputy Commissioners as District Monitoring Authority in their respective districts to monitor the supply and distribution of essential commodities under Public Distribution System. “In order to ensure access of food grains to the people at their doorstep the department is going to open nearly 5000 fair price shops in the state”, he said.
Crediting the Government for the socio-economic transformation of the Pir-Panjal region, the minister said it was the visionary approach of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who was committed for equitable development of far flung areas that this region witnessed a new dawn of development. “It was due to his personal efforts of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that new era of development started in this region,” he said and added that important and notable among them is establishment of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, opening of Chakan-Da-Bagh cross-LoC road and connecting Pir Panchal region with valley through Mughal road. He said tp ensure equitable development of Pir Panchal region a delegation of all the legislators from the region met the Prime Minister and appraised him about the problems of this region. “Prime Minister assured to take initiatives for the development of this region,” he said.
Referring to the developmental scenario of district Rajouri, the minister disclosed that many mega developmental projects have been taken up aimed for the development of this region. “Rs 5100 crore have been earmarked for the four-laning of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch road. Further during the current financial year an amount of 1419 lakh have been utilized for the construction/upgradation of 205 roads in the district which include construction of 63 km fair weather roads, 77 KM shingled, 39KM mettled besides completion of one major bridge and 88 culverts. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which aims to provide all weather connectivity in the rural areas, Rs 13662 lakh has been proposed for completion /construction of 23 roads,” he said and added that during the 10th phase state has received Rs 2842.76 crore out of which Rs 330 crore will be spent in district Rajouri for the construction of roads”, he said.
The Minister further disclosed that in the education sector 118608 students have been provided with free text books besides 13928 students of Pahari community and 31262 students from the Gujjar community have been provided with scholarships. The department is striving hard to provide quality education through the state and tremendous change is visible in this sector. During the current financial year an amount of Rs 148.53 crore has been earmarked to be utilized for 882 schools besides five girls’ hostels.
Stressing on women empowerment for overall development of the society, the minister said government is committed to uplift the status of women in all the spheres of life. He said various initiatives have been taken in this regard and the schemes like Laadli Beti, Aasra, Marriage Assistance Scheme for poor girls and CM’s Scooty scheme launched by the government will definitely make a mark in this regard.
Giving away the prizes among the best performers, the minister complimented the civil administration, police department, school children and people of the area who contributed a lot for the successful conduct of this programme.
Similar functions were held at all the subdivision and Tehsil level throughout the district.