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President Pranab Mukherjee today said the coastal district of Udupi in Karnataka had developed into a region of advancement and progress. Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the super speciality hospital being built by NRI entrepreneur B R Shetty at K M Marg here, Mukherjee said his association with Karnataka dated back to four decades when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi contested the Lok Sabha by-elections from Chikkamagaluru in 1978. The president symbolically laid the foundation for the state-of-the-art hospital in a formal ceremony organised at Rajangana hall here. He congratulated B R Shetty and his wife for taking the initiative to provide top quality healthcare to the people of the coastal region and for their contribution to society in various sectors. The president also recalled the contributions of Haji Abdullah, who granted the land at K M Marg to establish the government mother and child hospital over 90 years ago, where Shetty's super speciality is coming up under BRS Health and Research Institute Private Limited, based on a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government. State Health Minister Ramesh Kumar, Bengaluru urban development minister K J George, district in charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj were among those present. Earlier, the president was received at the Adi Udupi helipad by district in charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj, Udupi deputy commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis and other officials. Later te President visited the Sri Krishna mutt and offered prayers at the temple. He also met Paryaya Pejawar mutt seer Vishwesha Teertha Swami.