Prez pays tributes to people of Ladakh, Pt Bhimsen Joshi

New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) President Pratibha Patil todaybegan her address to the joint sitting of both houses ofParliament by expressing sympathy with the people ofcloudburst-hit Ladakh and said the government will completethe remaining tasks for their relief and rehabilitation withutmost urgency.

The President also paid tributes to legendary vocalistPandit Bhimsen Joshi, who passed away last month, describinghis death as a "national loss".

"Our heart goes out to the people of Ladakh, whosuffered the consequences of a severe cloudburst, leading toan unprecedented loss of life and property," Patil said.

"My government has taken effective measures for theimmediate relief and rehabilitation of the affected people andit stands committed to completing the remaining tasks with theutmost urgency," she said.

The disastrous cloudburst and flash floods in Ladakhin August last year had killed about 200 people and causedhuge loss to property and infrastructure.

Patil also remembered Joshi, the Bharat Ratna awardeevocalist who passed away on January 24 at the age of 84.

"Recently, we suffered a national loss in the death ofPandit Bhimsen Joshi. The void left by his death in thecultural life of our country will be difficult to fill," shesaid.

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