Launching Rs 25,000 cr projects, Modi calls for balanced development of all 3 regions
JAMMU/SRINAGAR/LEH, May 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that every stone, every weapon picked up by the misguided youths destabilize Jammu and Kashmir and it’s time now that the State would have to come out of this uncertainty and the youths for their future, for their next generation should join the mainstream of development of not only Kashmir but India.
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Endorsing former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Behari Vajpayee’s policy on Kashmir, Modi in a series of tweets during his one-day visit to all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, said: “Vajpayee Ji always advocated and supported Kashmiriyat and Modi is also disciple of same Kashmiriyat’’.
In his address at Leh, Srinagar and Jammu after inaugurating and laying foundation stone of various projects, the Prime Minister recalled his August 15, 2017 speech made from historic ramparts of Red Fort that Kashmir problem can’t be solved by bullets and abuses but by embracing every Kashmiri.
Asserting that the young generation has the responsibility of making Jammu and Kashmir proud, Modi pointed out that the State has so much resources and facilities and there was no reason that it should lag behind from other States of the country.
“Every stone or weapon picked up by the youth of this State is only meant to destabilize their own State. We have to bring the State out of this instable environment for our future generations. The misguided youth will not only have to join Jammu and Kashmir but also the national mainstream of the country,” he said.
The Prime Minister called for balanced development of all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh saying this was necessary to change life of the people.
He announced that projects amounting to Rs 25,000 crore were being inaugurated or launched today in Jammu and Kashmir, which will lead to massive infrastructure development and generate employment.
Modi said there are foreign powers at play in Jammu and Kashmir that do not want development of the State.
Modi without naming Pakistan said:”There are foreign powers at play in Jammu and Kashmir that do not want development of State. We need to give befitting reply to them and move ahead.”
He said that those foreign powers, who have been helping violence from across are disintegrating themselves now. “Those who have been helping violence in the State from across our borders are themselves disintegrating this time,” he added.
Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) RK Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, Speaker Dr Nirmal Singh, Power Minister Sunil Sharma, Lok Sabha members Dr Farooq Abdullah, Thupstan Chhewang and Jugal Kishore Sharma accompanied the Prime Minister at different functions among others.
Modi said the youths need to join mainstream development of India and of Kashmir for their future and that of coming generation. “There is no substitute for peace and stability. I urge the youth who have lost their way to return to the mainstream. The mainstream is their parents and family. The mainstream is their contribution to the development of Jammu and Kashmir. The responsibility of taking forward the development process and increasing the pride and honour of Jammu and Kashmir lies on this young generation. The State has so much of resources that there is no question that Jammu and Kashmir can stay behind other States”, he said.
“The PDP-BJP coalition Government under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti and Centre’s NDA Government are regularly trying to bring those youth to mainstream, who are targeting their own holy land after getting misled by the misleading campaign from the foreign,’’ he added and said the youths of Jammu and Kashmir are becoming role model for youths of other States by qualifying the Civil Services. “When I meet them, my happiness gets doubled’’.
He said the Central and the State Governments have policy, intent and capability to take decisions to solve development issues of the State. “I would urge everyone to channelize their energies in the development of the State. The solution to every problem is only development, development & development,” he said.
The Prime Minister, who is on his first visit to the State after announcing suspension of anti-militancy operations during holy month of Ramzan, said that ceasefire is a message for those who spread terror in the name of Islam. “The ceasefire in Ramadan is a message for those who in the name of Islam are spreading terror”, he said.
The Prime Minister said that bullets are no solution to Kashmir but it is the love. “I had said from the Red Fort as well that neither abuses not bullets will solve the problem Kashmiris are witnessing. The only solution is hugging and loving every Kashmiri.
Modi said the people of State know how they have been deceived by forces inimical to peace. The Central government has appointed a Special Representative to speak to all elected people to find a way out of these difficult times, he said.
“There is only one solution to all problems and that is development. All those countries in the world who followed violence are finding ways and means to shun it and save their people”, he said.
Modi said: “Time will come soon when J&K will re-emerge as the crown and coronet of peace and progress for the entire country.”
Modi said it is the love and affection of the people that brings him here so often.
“The holy month of Ramadhan is the time when we re-dedicate ourselves to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. It’s an honour that I am here during the holy month of Ramadan.”
He said Jammu Kashmir of the 21th century is going to be a model of progress and prosperity. “It was said in the past that waters and vitality of mountains does not help the people living in these mountains. But this saying is being proved wrong here as the waters and vitality of your mountains is now being used for your betterment and progress”, he said.
“Better roads will definitely add to the beauty of the State. I am happy that the people of State are helping themselves. I recently saw a video in which a five-year-old girl, Jannat, is shown cleaning the Dal Lake”, PM said.
Modi said one lakh local youth are being trained under the “Himayat” programme, adding that around 16,000 youth have been given scholarships to study outside the State. He said the J&K Police would soon complete the recruitment process of 5,000 youth.
He added that youth of the State are making country pride and gave example of kickboxing champion Tajamul Islam.
”Not a single year has passed since I took over as the Prime Minister when I did not visit the State,” he said.
The Prime Minister said this month is to remember Prophet Mohammad’s teaching and message. “The lessons of equality and brotherhood from his life can take country and the world forward in true sense,” he said.
The Prime Minister said it was a happy coincidence that the ceremony for handing over the project is taking place in the month of Ramzan.
Earlier, soon after his arrival Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the 330-MW Kishenganga Power Project constructed in the Gurez area of North Kashmir.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for the Srinagar Ring Road at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) Srinagar.
The 42.1kilomter, four-lane Srinagar Ring Road will link Galandar in West Srinagar to Sumbal in Bandipora district.
The Ring Road in Srinagar is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in these cities and making road travel safer, faster, more convenient and more environment friendly.
The Prime Minister said: “The project will not only provide free but also sufficient power to the State. A large portion of power requirements of the State are supplied from other parts of the country. This 330 MW project will solve the shortage of power issue to a considerable extent,” he said.
He said the Government is trying to provide power to every house in the state under the Saubhagya scheme. He said an important part of Jammu and Kashmir’s development is tourism but it cannot run on old methods.
“The tourists now want facilities. They do not want to be stuck in narrow lanes for hours. They want continuous power supply, they want hygiene and better air connectivity,” he said, adding that the Government was working for a modern ecosystem that is required for the development of tourism.
“There will be an increase in tourists in Jammu and Kashmir with stronger ecosystem. The youths of the State will get new employment opportunity with it,” he said.
In Leh, Modi started his day-long visit to the State by kick starting Asia’s longest Zojila Tunnel, part of Rs 25,000 crore projects, which were unveiled or dedicated to the nation today, saying it showed New Delhi’s commitment to all-round development of the state.
Addressing a large congregation gathered in Leh ground for the closing ceremony for birth centenary celebration of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, the Prime Minister said the tunnel would help in connecting the region with the rest of the country, a dream of the Buddhist spiritual guru.
The Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall, cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir.
The Prime Minister also announced the creation of a virtual museum which would showcase the history and tradition of Ladakh region to the world.
Modi paid tributes to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche at the closing ceremony and unveiled his plaque.
He began his speech in local language which was greeted by applause by a large crowd which had come to attend the function.
Paying rich tributes to Bakula Rimpoche, he said, “We remember the rich contribution of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche. His was a life dedicated to serving others.”
Unveiling a plaque for commencing the work for the tunnel, Modi said, “Zojila tunnel is not a mere tunnel but a modern day marvel.”
Modi said it would provide connectivity to the region besides employment to the local youths.
“Jammu and Kashmir is going to get development projects worth Rs 25,000 crore. These projects will have a positive impact on the people of the State,” he said.
He said the Centre and the state were working towards the development of the State.
“Today projects worth Rs 25,000 crore will either be dedicated to the nation or the foundation stone will be laid. This shows that New Delhi is completely dedicated to all-round development of state,” he said.
He said the region had a great scope for agricultural growth. The state could play a key role to help further holistic healthcare, he said, adding that they could have aromatic industry and products could be marketed the world over.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Modi said when he took over as the prime minister, thousands of villages were without any electricity.
“My Government took electrification process of mission mode and took out these villages from the era of darkness,” he said.
He said nearly four crore houses, which did not have electricity even after 70 years of Independence, would be given connection within a year and a half.
“19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche distinguished himself as an outstanding diplomat. During my Mongolia visit I witnessed the goodwill he has in that country,” he said.
A scholar of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, he was head priest of the Spituk Gompa. He died in 2003.
Bakula Rinpoche served the state and nation as he was elected as the member of legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir in 1951. He became a Minister in the then State Government.
In 1989, he was appointed as India’s ambassador to Mongolia which made him the first and only Monk diplomat in the world.
This is prime minister’s second visit to Leh, a Himalayan town sharing border with Pakistan and China and located 450 kms north of the summer capital city of Srinagar. He visited here on August 12, 2014 and inaugurated a hydel power project.
The prime minister, while unveiling plaque for commencement of work for Zojila tunnel, said the project aims at construction of 14.15 kilometer long two lane bi-directional single tube tunnel.
The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and would lead to all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions, he said.
The tunnel would cut down the 3.5 hours of drive through the mountainous Zojila to 15 minutes.
Gadkari, in his address, said 90 per cent of employment would be provided to local youths in the construction of the tunnel.
He said that it would help the armed forces for round-the-clock supplies.
In Jammu, Modi threw open a new seven-kilometer track to Mata Vaishno Devi Ji shrine today, offering pilgrims an alternative route to the temple overlooking Katra township.
He opened Tarakota Marg and launched a ropeway to carry goods to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi through a remote inauguration at Zorawar Auditorium in Jammu University.
He laid foundation stone for Pakal Dul hydro-electric power project, which will be constructed in Kishtwar and Jammu Ring Road.
Modi said places of worship like Vaishno Devi Ji and Amarnath Ji shrines were important for the state’s economy.
“Lakhs of devotees come to these places,” he said.
He said the Government is making efforts to ensure that pilgrims get better facilities and people of the state are financially benefited.
“The train has reached Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi. Soon after taking over as a prime minister, I got an opportunity to inaugurate it,” he said.
He said Tarakota Marg was the best way to the shrine for the devotees on foot.
The Prime Minister said the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is also constructing a ropeway to carry pilgrims, on the lines of the one he inaugurated to transport goods.
“It is being constructed at a cost of Rs 60 crore. It will complete very soon”, he said, adding it will ferry 800 devotees per hour.
J&K Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Dr Jitendra Singh, and State Ministers were at the event, part of the Prime Minister’s day-long visit to the State.
Governor NN Vohra gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about Shrine Board’s initiatives for the pilgrims.
The track inaugurated today between Banganga and Ardhkuwari on the Vaishno Devi route was approved by the shrine board in February 2011.
It has cost Rs 80 crore and is meant to help decongest the rush of pilgrims on the existing six-kilometer track.
Modi said it is a historic day in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said with the execution of Rs 8,000 crore Pakal Dul Hydroelectric project, around 2500 people get employed and one third of the total power being supplied in Jammu at present, will be produced.
The Prime Minister said, “Isolation to Integration is our ideology. The areas, which are neglected and under developed are being given the priority either it’s North East, Western parts of India of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Since I have become the Prime Minister, I have visited to J&K more than 12 times. We have to enhance our connectivity either it is of roads or hearts,” he asserted.
The Prime Minister said the way Jammu and Kashmir is progressing, it will soon touch new heights of development.