New Delhi: Scores of new initiatives including restoration of heritage properties in Rashtrapati Bhavan and making it accessible to over five lakh people mark consolidation of achievements of President Pranab Mukherjee's three years in office.
”We have started the celebrations for the conclusion of third year (of President in office) and opening of fourth year. It has been a very busy year,” Omita Paul, Secretary to the President, told reporters here while pointing out the initiatives undertaken during the past one year.
Tomorrow, Mukherjee completes three years in office, a period in which he had undertaken 105 domestic visits.
She said that efforts are on to open more and more areas of the President's estate to lakhs of visitors. “We are seriously looking into the possibility of opening up of a nature's trail inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Paul said.
She said the authorities have tried to restore the architectural integrity of various structures inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“A smart township inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan will be ready be this year-end. We have completed most of the work in this regard,” she told
Paul said the smart township will have state-of-the-art amenities including free wifi facility among others. Already there are 24 hot spots for wifi connectivity in the estate, she said highlighting the President's three Hs—humane, healthy and heritage—approach towards the project.
Mukherjee was sworn-in as the President on July 25, 2012. ”The third year of President Pranab Mukherjee's presidency was marked by a consolidation of the achievements so far and an expansion of various initiatives launched in the first two years.
”During this period, a number of important projects were completed and many new initiatives initiated,” said a booklet 'forging ahead with energy'—the third year of Pranab Mukherjee's presidency, brought out by Rashtrapati Bhavan.
During the course of the year, the President made 24 visits to different parts of the country. He made six visits to foreign nations—Vietnam, Bhutan, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Belarus, during the year.
The highlight of the year was the visit to India by US President Barack Obama as the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade. During the course of the third year, the President also received President Xi Jinping of China, President Tony Tan Kengyam of Singapore and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, among others.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan continued to welcome visitors with over 5.55 lakh people visiting it during the year, the booklet said.
”About 20 lakh people have visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the past three years,” the President's Secretary said.
The President inaugurated a clock tower in the Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
The in-residence programme initiated by the President was scaled up during the year with students and teachers also being included under its ambit. In the coming days, the Rashtrapati Bhavan plans to make available its in-residence services to specialists of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, Paul said.
”All these systems have their own good strength and if they can complement each other then it can be very good for patient care in both prevention and cure,” she said, adding the Ministry of Ayush is coordinating for the programme to ensure these subject specialists' stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
A series of programmes including release of three books, among others, have been scheduled for tomorrow to mark Mukherjee's three years in office. The President's friends and other dignitaries have been invited to the programme.
The construction is underway for Phase II of the Museum, which is being built conserving a heritage structure which previously housed the garages. This state-of-the-art museum will have a built-up area of 10,000 sq meters and will present the history of Rashtrapati Bhavan using modern, interactive techniques.
Special emphasis is being laid on conservation and renovation of heritage properties inside Rashtrapati Bhavan. There are 69 heritage buildings in the President's estate.