Underscoring need to revive age old festival celebrations at historic places, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand said Baisakhi is an important festival of the region and all sections of society should join together in the festivities. He said the jubilations have special importance for Billawar region, as they have become part of the age old tradition of the area.
Mr Tara Chand said this while inaugurating historical three day Baisakhi Mela at Billawar.
Describing historical importance of Billawar town, the Deputy Chief Minister said reference of the town is found in one of the most authentic and detailed historical chronicle of the sub-continent- the Rajatarangani.
He said the region has vast tourism potential and efforts would be redoubled to explore the potential to its fullest, adding that the region is world famous for its religious tourism.
Minister of State for Cooperative, Finance and Planning Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, Member of Parliament Ch. Lal Singh, MLC Subash Gupta, DDC, Kathua Zahida Parveen Khan and other senior district level officers of police and civil administration attended the grand inauguration ceremony.
An impressive cultural programme comprising of Dogri folk songs and dances by the local artist remained key attraction of the Mela.
Responding to the demand of Shrine board for Sukrala Mata and Mata Bala Sundri as the pilgrims inflow in these shrines has increased manifold in recent years, he directed the DDC Kathua to submit comprehensive plan for these shrines, so that needful be done in this regard. He said sincere effort will be made to make the Baisakhi Mela a regular and important feature on the state culture calendar.
He said tourism requires better infrastructure and to address the need the project to double lane Dayala Chak - Challan and Billawar-Sukrala Mata roads would be taken up at the right quarters.
Stalls of different government departments were installed showcasing their working, schemes and programmes.
The cultural troupe which participated in the programmes included, Khajoor Singh & party, Bansi Lal & party, Ramalo Ram & party and students of different schools.
Later, the Deputy Chief Minister toured the Billawar town and the historic ancient Lord Shiva temple. He said funds for the construction of bus stand have already been released and now the authorities need to work in double shifts to complete the work at the earliest.
A number of deputations also met Mr. Tara Chand and brought to his notice various demands of the people of the town. The deputations were given patient hearing and assured of redressal of genuine demands.