Kishtwar, Aug 18: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today visited Kishtwar, where he paid his obeisance at the revered Shri Chandi Mata Machail shrine. Accompanied by prominent officials including Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary;. Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary of the Higher Education Department;. Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Dr. Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to the Lt. Governor; and Sunil Sharma, former Minister, the Lt. Governor assessed the facilities provided to pilgrims and engaged with local residents.
During his visit to Gulabgarh Paddar, the Lt. Governor addressed representatives from Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and citizens. He highlighted the ongoing efforts of the UT Administration in ensuring the comprehensive development of Kishtwar. He reiterated the commitment to balanced progress, addressing community needs, and preventing any segment of society from being marginalized.
"In the last three years, we have taken significant steps to address the concerns of Kishtwar's residents, enhance employment prospects, and improve rural connectivity," the Lt. Governor said. He cited achievements such as reviving a cinema theatre after a three-decade hiatus, enhancing road and communication links, bolstering power infrastructure, and enhancing health, sports, and education facilities.
Discussing the enhancements for the Holy Machail Mata pilgrimage experience, the Lt. Governor reiterated the UT Administration's determination to ensure a seamless journey for devotees. “Infrastructure developments including roads, solar power facilities, and tented accommodations have led to a surge in pilgrim numbers, surpassing one lakh this year,” he added.
The Lt. Governor expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government of India for their support in surveying and conducting gemological studies of Sapphire mines. He projected that within the coming year, the scientifically conducted auction of Sapphire mines will contribute significantly to the local economy and the growth of Jammu & Kashmir.
Responding to concerns raised by PRIs and locals, the Lt. Governor assured swift action on public demands put forth during interactions. He directed the Principal Secretaries of Higher Education and Public Works (R&B) to collaborate with stakeholders to promptly address pertinent issues within their departments.
The Lt. Governor urged active participation from PRIs and citizens to propel the implementation of UT Administration initiatives for Kishtwar's development. He also encouraged the district's youth to avail benefits and incentives under the government's home stay schemes.
During his visit to the Buddhist Gompa at Paddar, the Lt. Governor sought blessings from Lord Buddha and engaged with members of the Buddhist community. He underscored their integral role in society and assured them of full support for their growth and empowerment.
On the occasion, students from Government Degree College and Himalayan Cultural School Gulabgarh Padari performed Buddhist folk dance. Dr. Devansh Yadav, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar; PRI representatives; senior officials; and numerous locals were also present at the event.