Modi to keep up tradition, visit all 3 regions on day’s tour

First-ever address to Kashmir Sarpanchs

4 projects declared as national: Dr Jitendra

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Jan 19: Keeping up the tradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting all three regions of the State during his upcoming visit on February 3 and, for the first time, will address newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs of Kashmir at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC).
During his last visit to Jammu and Kashmir on May 19, 2018, Modi had covered all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Initially, the Prime Minister was supposed to lay foundation stone of multiple projects of three regions via e-mode from Vijaypur in Samba district of Jammu. However, official sources told the Excelsior that schedule of Modi’s one-day tour has been revised and now he will be visiting all three regions.
As per the revised schedule, Modi will reach Leh directly from New Delhi and lay foundation stone of Ladakh University and extension of Airport. The State Government had recently approved University for Ladakh to be set up in Leh. This will be the first ever University for entire Ladakh region, which was long pending demand of the people.
“The Prime Minister will address the gathering at Leh during foundation stone laying ceremony of Ladakh University and extension of Leh Airport,” sources said, adding that Governor Satya Pal Malik and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh among others will accompany the Prime Minister.
Sources said in view of resentment among the people of Leh against the BJP, which was clearly visible in the recently held Municipal and Panchayat elections and resignation of party’s first-time MP from Ladakh, Thupstan Chhewang, Modi could make some important announcements for the mountainous region to win back confidence of the people, ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
The PM will reach Vijaypur in Samba district of Jammu region around 11.30 am, where he will lay foundation stone of multiple projects through e-mode and address a massive rally.
Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh told the Excelsior that out of multiple projects for which the foundation stone will be laid by the Prime Minister through e-mode, four have been declared as national projects and incidentally all of them fall in his Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency.
Four national projects included Shahpur Kandi, Ujh, Devika Rejuvenation Plan and Ratle hydro-electric power project. Ratle power project in Kishtwar district had been declared as sick but was revived by the present Government and is being re-launched as a joint venture between the Government of India and National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC), Dr Jitendra Singh said.
He added that all these projects were in addition to Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Other projects whose foundation stone will be laid by the Prime Minister included Jammu-Akhnoor-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Jammu, Indri Pattan-Pargwal bridge, Sudh Mahadev-Pul Doda National Highway among others. Most of these projects are part of the PMDP, sources said.
They added that the Government was examining the possibility of including some more projects for laying of foundation stone or inauguration by the Prime Minister. However, their inclusion in the projection to be launched by Modi will depend on completion of all formalities.
The Prime Minister will address massive public rally at Vijaypur after laying foundation stone of multiple projects, sources said, adding the State BJP was engaged in mobilizing huge crowd for the rally.
In the afternoon, Modi will proceed to Srinagar, where he will address newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs of the Kashmir valley at SKICC Srinagar. This will be his first address to newly elected members of the Panchayats though he had met about 50 Sarpanchs of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi.
Panchayat elections were held in the State in November-December last year after a gap of over seven years.