vJAMMU, AUGUST 15: The 74th Independence Day was today celebrated with great enthusiasm, fervour and national spirit, here in the winter capital.

Advisor to Lieutenant Governor K.K Sharma, the Chief Guest, unfurled the tricolor at the divisional level function, held here at Mini Stadium, Parade. The function was organised following all Covid protection protocols.

The Advisor inspected the parade and took the salute at the March Past comprising contingents of BSF, District Police, CRPF, JKAP, UTDRF, Forest Protection Force and IRP.

In his address, the Advisor greeted the people of UT on the eve of Independence Day and highlighted the prolonged struggle and sacrifices made by the freedom fighters to oust the foreign rulers from the country.

“This day symbolizes victory of the ethos of unity in diversity cherished by our great Nation for centuries,” he added.

He said that it also reminds us the countless sacrifices made by the Indian freedom fighters for the dignity and freedom of our motherland.

“Even after Independence, many brave Indians have sacrificed their life to defend the sovereignty and integrity of this country,” he added and said that the day also offers us an opportunity to pay them rich tributes. He called upon all to set personal goals towards nation building, and added that striving to excel in ones line of profession also leads to the nation’s development and prosperity.

Seeking the cooperation of the people in taking Jammu and Kashmir to the new heights of development, the Advisor recounted numerous developmental projects and works undertaken in the UT by the government. He said the UT administration is trying its best to take Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory on the glorious path of development and prosperity.

Asserting that the centre and UT government are determined to reach out to the last person in the queue, he said thrust is being laid on ameliorating the living standard of the poorest of the poor.

“With this vision in mind, the government provided LPG cylinders to 12 lakh families under Ujjwala Yojna and LED bulbs to 16 lakh families under Ujala scheme, while over 20 lakh families were covered under Ayushman Bharat- the flagship health insurance scheme aimed at to cater to the poor, lower section of the society and the vulnerable population.

He added that the Jammu and Srinagar are in the process of touching new heights of development as works under Smart City project have been already started in the twin capital cities.

Highlighting developmental initiatives taken in Jammu city, he said the inauguration of ambitious Ropeway project and development of other tourist spots are bound to add new dimensions to its rich heritage. “Many more initiatives have been taken to attract investment in the J&K,” he added.

To address the issue of unemployment, Sharma said that 11 thousand posts have been advertised under different notification to fill vacancies in different departments.

Terming the extension of many progressive laws of the Indian constitution to J&K as historical, Sharma said these will open new avenues for its development and facilitate the communities living here to promote their languages and cultures. “These changes have also removed the decades old hurdles in the way of economic development and prosperity,” he added.

Reiterating the commitment of the government towards strengthening of grassroots level democracy in the UT, he said that government has taken many steps to institutionalize the Panchayati Raj System by devolution of powers PRIs. He said now funds are directly transferred to the accounts of PRI for the development of their respected areas.

Referring to the unprecedented crisis triggered by the Covid-19 disease worldwide, the Advisor appreciated the services rendered by the officers of the different department including Medical, PWD, Information, Revenue, Police, JMC, Education and Rural Development in the fight against this pandemic.

On the occasion, the Advisor felicitated 43 Corona Warriors including Dr Shashi Sudan, HOD Microbiology GMC; Dr Shahid Hussain, Nodal Officer CMO Office; Jasmeet Singh, AC Nazool and Satish Sharma, Nodal Officer, Sub Registrar Udhampur.

A scintillating variety show pre-recorded at Balidaan Stambh, Bahu Fort, Amar Palace and Mubarakh Mandi Heritage Complex depicting patriotism and culture and heritage was also presented by the Information Department at the function.

The band of BSF and JKP performed on the patriotic songs.

Member of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma; Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Manhas; Mayor JMC, Chander Mohan Gupta; Principal Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, IGP Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, HODs and senior officers of the various departments were present on the occasion.