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J&K admin working for all people, not just a select few: LG Sinha

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Lays foundation stone for Tirth Yatri Niwas of SASB, says facility to open up new employment avenues for local population

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said the administration is working for the welfare of all people of the union territory, and not just a select few.

Sinha was speaking to reporters after laying the foundation stone of a ‘Yatri Niwas’ (accommodation for pilgrims) ahead of the Amarnath Yatra in Majeen area on the outskirts of Jammu.

Asked about National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks that the security situation is bad since the abrogation of Article 370 and that the militants have not come from outside but the disillusioned local youths are picking up guns, Sinha said, “I do not want to react to this.”

He said that the administration is not working for just a few people but for the entire population of Jammu and Kashmir.

“(Our focus is that) the facilitation increases, peace and prosperity regained, people get jobs and industry comes to J&K,” he said.

Speaking on the foundation laying ceremony, the LG, according to an official press release, congratulated the officials of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and the people of Jammu region for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Yatri Niwas.

“With the foundation of the Yatri Niwas, we have fulfilled a long pending demand of all stakeholders, organizations associated with Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra, devotees from across the country and abroad,” he said while expressing the desire to develop Yatri Niwas as a symbol of compassion, spirituality, service, peace and happiness.

“Yatri Niwas is not merely a building. It needs to be developed as a centre for awakening of consciousness, a confluence of ancient philosophy so that the devotees can feel bliss and may begin their further Journey to Shri Amarnath ji Shrine in south Kashmir with purity and perfection,” the LG said.

He directed the officials of SASB to establish a library for showcasing the spiritual and cultural heritage of J&K to the visiting pilgrims.

“Work with greater commitment and dedication to provide safe and best-in-class facilities keeping in mind the faith of the devotees and the timeless tradition of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra,” the LG told the officials.

He said that a Yatri Niwas with a capacity of more than 3200 pilgrims is under construction at Chandrakot in Ramban, and the foundation for another Yatri Niwas with a capacity of about 2800 passengers was laid in the month of August this year in Srinagar.

“The Yatri Niwas in Jammu will also open up new employment avenues for the local population, especially for the youth,” he added.

“Dharma has been the very essence of the Jammu region since ancient times.  The morning breeze here is filled with the prayers just as all our Vedas, Upanishads, Shastras begin with a salutation to the almighty. Therefore, we are making dedicated efforts to serve all those who are starting their spiritual odyssey from the City of Temples,” Sinha observed.

Elaborating on the work being done to develop tourism in Jammu, the LG said that a pilgrimage tourism circuit connecting Mata Vaishno Devi, Purmandal-Utterbehni, Mansar-Surinsar and Shiv Khori together is coming up,  besides  promoting the unexplored tourism potential of Jammu to attract more tourists.

“Durga Bhawan, a high utility pilgrim-centric facility at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is under construction. Study for the restoration of Shiv Khori is being done and work on it will begin soon. We are also exploring the feasibility of a ropeway at Shri Amarnathji Shrine,” the LG informed.

He expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inclusion of rejuvenation of Purmandal and Uttarbehni in the PRASAD scheme.

On the occasion, the LG, along with the members and officials of the SASB performed Bhumi Pujan rituals for the new facility.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the LG, speaking on the occasion, reiterated commitment of the UT administration to provide comfortable and modern facilities to the devotees.

In his address, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary highlighted J&K government’s initiatives to improve the facilities for the visiting pilgrims. Once completed, the new Yatri Niwas would accommodate more than 3000 pilgrims, he added.

Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC expressed gratitude to the UT administration and SASB for the Yatri Niwas catering to the needs of the devotees and other stakeholders.

Rahul Singh, Addl CEO SASB, in his welcome address, informed about the recent developments made by SASB for facilitating pilgrims.

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