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  • Thousands pay obeisance at Kalika Mata Mandir

UDHAMPUR: Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Finance, Planning, Law & Justice, Relief & Rehabilitation, Labour & Employment, Agriculture, Floriculture and Horticulture Ajay Nanda today inaugurated a two-day long Saroli Dhar Mela and paid obeisance at Kalika Mata Mandir base camp at Gouri Mitti in Udhampur. Additional District Development Commissioner, Udhampur Arvind Sharma, Chief Horticulture Officer, Brij Vallabh Gupta, CEO J.R Bhardwaj, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Dr. D.D Dogra, DSP Dar, Himant Singh, Tehsildar Moungri Amit Kumar, BDO Moungri Suman Kattal, besides other district and tehsil level  officers were present on the occasion.

While addressing the gathering, the MoS congratulated the people and said that such melas help in exchanging cultural and tradition values. They play a pivotal role in spreading the message of brotherhood, peace and prosperity, he added. Emphasizing on preserving rich culture and traditional values of the area, Nanda stressed on the need for the promotion of the mela and said that these melas are an indispensable part of our culture. Various folk songs which are very much popular in the hilly areas and depict our rich culture should also be passed on to the younger generations so that the youth can understand the core values of their culture and keep it alive, he stressed.

He further said that every possible effort would be made to boost the pilgrimage tourism in the area for the overall development of the area. On the occasion, the villagers put forth their demands and grievances related to macadamization of road from Supply Morh to Kainth Gali, Kainth Gali to Gouri mitti and other link roads, lack of staff in educational institutions, paucity of drinking water, power supply and ration distribution. He assured the people that their genuine demands would be considered and redressed in time bound manner.

Appreciating the scenic beauty of the area, Nanda said that all possible efforts would be made to bring this area on the tourism map besides exploring its wide scope of trekking. He said that the project for upgradation of two major roads of 77 km length has been approved by the Government of India under PMGSY from Kainth Gali to Baryote and Kainth Gali to Malti and estimated cost of these roads is Rs. 69 crore.

The Minister, accompanied by Additional District Development Commissioner Udhampur Arvind Sharma, took a round of the stalls installed by various departments for creating awareness of different schemes among the people. The Minister called upon the officers to make their sincere and dedicated efforts to create awareness about different central and state government schemes. The district administration has made elaborate arrangements of security, transport, medicare, drinking water and power supply during the mela. A 'Jagran' was also organised on the first day of the two-day mela.