Srinagar, Oct 31: President Droupadi Murmu commended Ladakh as the cornerstone of the nation, and praised both the local administration and its people for their joint efforts in fostering peace and fostering multifaceted development.
The President, along with the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Brig. (Dr.) BD Mishra (Retd) and Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, was welcomed with a guard of honour upon her arrival.
Addressing the Ladakh Foundation event in Leh, President Murmu expressed her pleasure at being present on Ladakh Foundation Day for the first time since its new identification as a Union Territory on October 31, 2019. She highlighted the “commendable progress” in the UT and hailed the collaboration between the administration and the people in steering the region toward prosperity.
“The entire nation considers Ladakh the head of India. We are deeply committed to the peace, prosperity, and unity of this region,” she said.
President Murmu paid heartfelt tributes to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. She expressed deep emotion while meeting the veer naris (brave widows) of Ladakh. She celebrated the achievements of Lieutenant Rigzin Chorol, the first commissioned woman Army officer from the region, terming her as a role model for women and a source of pride for her husband, Rifleman Rigzin Khandap, who laid down his life for the nation.
Acknowledging the strengthening of democracy at the grassroots level by both Kargil and Leh Hill Councils, the President applauded their initiatives focused on development and youth employment. She hailed the contribution of elected Panchayat and Municipal members to the region’s betterment.
Murmu also recognised the establishment of the University of Ladakh in 2019 and praised the progress at Sindhu Central University.
“I’m pleased to know that all important things happening in Sindhu Central University are picking pace. We hope the institution will emerge as one the best in the country,” she said.
The President said that in the last 4 years, the Government of India has increased the budget of Ladakh by 5 percent for its development.
Highlighting Ladakh’s move towards becoming a carbon-neutral region, the Murmu said substantial steps have been taken in green energy, including the establishment of high-altitude green hydrogen fueling stations.
“Recently the Central government approved the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) project. This aims to provide 13,000 megawatts of renewable energy which will be connected through an Interstate Transmission System (ISTS),” she said.
Furthermore, President Murmu emphasised the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism, alongside the development of a sustainable Industrial policy from 2020 to 2027.
She also paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and honoured the martyred soldiers of the Ladakh region during her visit.