A day to celebrate birth of new Ladakh as UT: LG Mathur

LG Ladakh, R K Mathur inspecting the parade.

JIGMET JANSPAL KHUNGRU
LEH: Like other parts of the country, the 71st Republic Day was celebrated at Leh’s historic polo-ground with patriotic fervour. It was the first event after granting Union Territory for Ladakh.
On the occasion, Lieutenant Governor Ladakh, R K Mathur unfurled the national tri-colour amidst the gathering of thousands of people, and parade of contingents of Police, Paramilitary forces, NCC and school children.
Addressing the gathering, LG said, this occasion was celebrated all over Ladakh on the 23rd November, 2019 by reading out the Preamble of the Constitution and also by committing ourselves to fulfill the fundamental duties as laid down in Article 51-A of the Constitution. Today is also an occasion to celebrate the birth of a new Ladakh as a Union Territory. Ladakh had a long standing demand for its conversion to a Union Territory, which has now became a reality. Even before Ladakh became a Union Territory, people had shown the courage, determination and the vision to progress against all odds. They chose their own path, different from rest of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Autonomous District Councils of both districts of Leh and Kargil with their dedication and hard work have shown results which are looked upon with appreciation by rest of the country. “We are in the process of setting up a new UT administration. No doubt that this will take a little time but every effort is being made to expedite the process. With LAHDC, as well as block and village level elections, a three tier Panchayat system has now come into existence. We need to empower and strengthen this machinery to deliver the results that the people expect,” he said.
He congratulated the conferring of Padma awards 2020 to two Ladakhis including Padma Bushan to Dr Tsering Landol in the field of medicine and Padma Shri to Tsewang Motup Goba in the field of Trade & Industry. LG mentioned about the great contribution of armed forces in the daring rescue of human lives of Chadder trekkers and successfully scaling the Mt. Everest on 21st May 2016 & 2005 by Stanzin Laskit, Rigzin Dolkar, Tsering Angmo, Tashi Laskit and Tsering Ladol.
Recently, Farhana Eliyas won the Bronze medal for Boxing in the Khelo India youth games. Saida Bano won APJ Abdul Kalam Azad Ignite Award, 2019 for innovation while Mohd Hassan, Fatima Sugra and Tsering Dolkar won medals in National Pencak Silat Championship 2019.
Talking about Government set up, the LG said that SNM hospital has repeatedly won national awards for its selfless service to the sick and the needy. Rural Development Department has won third prize in overall performance in SPMRM category (Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rural Mission). He congratulated all officers from both Leh and Kargil who have been the major catalyst in the growth and development of Ladakh. The LG informed that there are 677 industrial units in Ladakh. Industrial Estates have been set up in Leh, Phyang, Khaltsi, Changchik and Kurbathang where entrepreneurs have been allotted land and provided infrastructural facilities. The DICs are also implementing the Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) in the districts, he added.
The UT Administration is committed to extend communication facilities at the grassroot level, he said adding that the administration is engaging with the Ministry of Telecommunications for extending connectivity to all villages. The Bharat Net connectivity has already reached 163 Gram Panchayats and the government is committed to cover all the Panchayats at the earliest. “The administration intends to provide for setting up internet enabled facilitation centres in every block for the people to avail government services. We will also co-locate Common Service Centres (CSCs) in every Gram Panchayat where internet is available,” he added.
Regarding the Handicrafts and Handlooms sectors, he said, “Our main focus will be to preserve the rich art and crafts of Ladakh and impart elementary and advance training courses in crafts like wood carving, garment making, embroidery, Thanka painting, hand knitting, carpet weaving, Namda making, shoe making, silver filigree, pottery etc. For this, handholding support and infrastructure development is planned. The UT Administration intends to give a major thrust to developing new tourist destinations. Cultural Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Border Tourism, Winter Tourism, Herbal Tourism etc shall be promoted and Tourism Projects worth Rs 35.8 crores are being executed under “Swadesh Darshan”,” he added.
Various schemes of the Government of India are under implementation in UT of Ladakh. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is being implemented at a cost of Rs 42 Crores. Many works have been taken up under the Prime Minister Development Package. “I am happy to share that some of the works under PMDP such as Motorable Steel Bridge over Zanskar river, Rest house at Bema, Suspension Bridge at Neraksour engineers are making progress,” he said. In the urban sector substantial work is going on for preparation of Master Plans for both Kargil and Leh towns. The draft master plan for Kargil town has been put in the public domain for obtaining feedback.
Talking about the Rural Development sector the LG said, 35083 job cards have been issued upto 2019-20. An expenditure of Rs 34 crores has been incurred upto December-2019 and 14.58 lakhs man-days have been generated. He informed that under the Prime Minister Awas Yojna (Grameen) Rs14 crores have been directly transferred to the beneficiary accounts through e-FMS and construction of 1053 houses has been completed.
While mentioning about Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan, Mathur informed that both the districts of Ladakh have achieved “Open Defecation Free” status and both the districts have also completed the targets fixed under the category “left out beneficiaries”. The administration of UT is now focusing towards Solid & Liquid Waste Management and ODF+. He congratulated the Rural Development team of Leh district which has taken a lead in the Solid/Liquid Waste Management project by initiating the “Project Tsangda”and running it successfully in six locations in Leh. “We intend to pursue the target of Swachta Bharat Abhiyaan in other parts of Ladakh,” he added.
LG said, in air connectivity also spurs tourism, which is vital for economic prosperity. With a view to handling growing air traffic in Leh, the old terminal building at Leh with an area of 4500 square meters is now being constructed on an extended area of about 20,000 square meters. District Kargil of UT Ladakh has one small Airport where presently the Indian Air Force operates AN-32 aircraft for the civilian passengers. The expansion of Kargil Airport is under active consideration of the UT Administration, with a view to facilitate civilian aircraft operations at Kargil. We have also taken up the issue of year round road connectivity with the Central Govt.
The Central Government and the UT Administration is committed to meet the developmental aspirations of the people of Ladakh. The LG assured that the UT administration shall move closely with the people of Ladakh in implementing their chosen path to progress.
Earlier, that LG laid wreaths at the iconic Leh War Memorial (Hall of Fame), in honour of all those martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation.
Meanwhile, colourful cultural programmes were also presented by various educational institutions including artist form Kargil & PAGIR for the first time and the artists of Information department, and Cultural Academy.
Later, the LG distributed prizes to the positions holders in the March Past in which Druk Padma Karpo School, Shey bagged first position while Lamdon School and Mahabodhi School, Leh bagged second and 3rd position respectively. In cultural programme, Moravin Mission School, Leh bagged first position while Muthari School, Kargil and Druk Padma Karpo, Leh bagged second and third position respectively. The LG also inspected the Army weapons and equipment displayed on the occasion.
Meanwhile, CEC LAHDC Leh, Gyal P Wangyal hoisted the national flag at Council Secretariat.
Republic Day was also celebrated at all Sub-Divisional, Tehsil, Block and Naibat Head quarters of Leh district where despite severe cold large number of people attended the function. CEC LAHDC Leh, Gyal P Wangyal; Advisor to LG Ladakh, Umang Narula; Commissioner/Secretary Power Ladakh, Rigzin Samphel; Divisional Commissioner Ladakh, Saugat Biswas; DC Leh, Sachin Kumar Vaishya; Religious heads, Political heads, District officers, Army Officers and other Guest were present during the occasion.
The 71st Republic Day was also celebrated with pomp gaiety and patriotic fervour at Khree Sultan Chow Sport stadium Biamathang Kargil were Feroz Ahmed Khan, Chairman & Chief Executive Councillor LAHDC/Kargil hoisted national flag and took salute at an impressive parade where in Army, J&K Police, NCC and government and private school contingent participated.