The 74th Independence Day (ID) was on Saturday celebrated under unprecedented security arrangements in the Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where Lt Governor Manoj Sinha unfurled the national flag.
Mr Sinha arrived by road from Raj Bhavan to S K Cricket Stadium in high-security Sonawar area, where he was presented a guard of honour.
After unfurling the national flag Mr Sinha addressed the people. However, very less number of people were present, wearing masks and keeping physical distance as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Lt. Gov Manoj Sinha said that people responsible for partition had also attempted to create divisions here on the basis of religion. People here always dismissed their ideology. Rejecting the religious frenzy at the time of partition, people of J&K connected themselves to the sense of national spirit.
Lt Gov Sinha recalled the sacrifices made by countless freedom fighters & offered tributes & gratitude; ” This day inspires us to preserve & protect the Independence & integrity of our country & create a poverty-free, disease-free & illiteracy free society”.
In his Independence day speech, LG remembered the time-honoured tradition of J&K from Kalhan’s Rajtarangini to Shankaracharya’s Advaita, Sufi Islam to Buddhist philosophy of Mahayana reflected in the peaceful & syncretic co-existence in the inhabitants of this land.
Lt Gov Manoj Sinha said that youth has the power of transformation, his own student life was marked with activism. He asked the youth of J&K to direct their activism towards development as future leaders of the country.
LG said 2019 constitutional change has led to 50 decisions to usher in a new era of normalcy & development in J&K.
He also laid 5 targets of his Government- transparency in governance, grassroots democracy, people’s welfare, accelerated dev & creation of employment opportunities.
Giving details of Government’s initiatives, LG said that New Domicile rules shall provide equality, justice to the deprived like WPRs, Pahari speaking, safaikaramcharis and women married outside J&K, reservations policy also being made more effective.
The application of 73rd & 74th amendments have led to grassroots democracy in J&k, Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas played a key role in people’s participation, Pensionary benefits given to more than 7lakh people, including transgenders, he added.
Highlighting the dev works, Lt. Gov said that long pending works are being completed; Rambagh Flyover in Sgr has been completed, Work on Jammu Ring Road, Akhnoor Road, Pakal-Dul Hydro-Electric Project. Kiru & Ratle power projects have been expedited.
He further said that during the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s visit the seeds of providing 100% piped drinking water connections were sown. J&K is at the forefront of ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’. Sgr & Ganderbal have achieved 100% coverage, whole UT will attain 100% coverage by Dec 2022.
LT. Gov has also informed that the new tunnel at Banihal on Jammu-Srinagar highway & the world’s highest rail bridge on Chenab will be completed in 2021. By 2022 Kashmir will be connected all the way to Kanyakumari by rail, work starts on Shahpur Kandi & Ujh Irrigation projects.