PM’s initiatives will help bring peace in J&K: Vohra

Gove-rnor NN Vohra said today that fresh initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for securing peaceful relations with Pakistan will bring results and Jammu and Kashmir will be able to live and work in peaceful environment in the coming days.
In his address on the eve of 67th Republic Day, which will be observed tomorrow under Governor’s Rule for second consecutive year, Vohra said India remained committed to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours and the Prime Minister has already taken an initiative to secure peace with Pakistan, a reference to Modi’s sudden visit to Lahore on his return from Afghanistan.
“We hope that endeavors of the Prime Minister will bear fruit and people of Jammu and Kashmir will live in peace during the coming days,” he said.
Vohra also referred to the sudden death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7, leading to imposition of Governor’s Rule in the State, which, he hoped, shall not last long.
During January 26, 2015 also, the State was under Governor’s Rule after the Assembly elections as PDP-BJP coalition Government was formed on March 1, 2015 though process for the Assembly elections was completed on December 23, 2014.
“While the erstwhile Government (PDP-BJP) had commenced certain initiatives, economic investment and growth has not so far taken off for varied reasons, which include inadequate financial resources, poor connectivity, high transportation cost of raw materials and shortage of power,” the Governor said.
Calling for holding of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections in the State, Vohra said the governance will become more “effective and productive” when the people were adequately empowered, involved in decision making and implementation of developmental schemes and programmes.
“To achieve the objective, it is necessary to undertake the now “very long pending elections” to Urban Local Bodies and urgently carry out reforms in the existing urban administration and taxation framework.
“Simultaneously, timely elections to Panchayats and establishment of Panchayati Raj institutions will enable the people at village level to themselves determine their developmental priorities and monitor implementation of various works and programmes to promote their welfare,” the Governor said and expressed hope that both these objectives will be attained during the current year.
Lauding Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army for their devotion and continuing sacrifices, Vohra called upon them to maintain close vigil on the frontiers. He complimented the people living in the border areas for their courage and cooperation to security forces.
Voicing concern over corruption and improvement in functioning of public delivery systems, the Governor said: “to restore the people’s faith and trust in functioning of administrative apparatus, it is of vital importance to eradicate corruption and ensure improvement in functioning of the public delivery systems”.
He added that growth and pace of development will improve significantly when the governmental machinery starts performing with speed, efficiency and accountability.
In this connection, he referred to Rs 80,000 crores worth Special Package given to the State by the Prime Minister in November.
“This Special Package includes provision of relief to the flood affected people, refugees, migrants and implementation of projects for development of social and economic infrastructure. It provides approximately Rs 42,700 crore for construction of roads, highways and tunnels and securing substantial enhancement of connectivity in the coming years,” the Governor pointed out.
Calling for negating all “divisive and communal forces” and promote societal harmony and brotherhood, Vohra said it was equally important that “we learn to settle all our disputes and disagreements through dialogue and discussion”, an indirect reference to the separatists.
“We will be able to achieve growth and development and eradicate poverty and illiteracy only if peace and normalcy is restored in the State,” he added.
Referring to the proxy war for past over two and half decades, the Governor said it has adversely affected growth and development of Jammu and Kashmir.
“During the past year, besides the repeated incidents of cross border firing and attempts at infiltration, there were five terror attacks, two across the LoC in Tangdhar sector, two across the IB in Samba and Kathua and one at Udhampur,” he recalled.

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