United News of India
Palli, Samba, April 24: Asserting that “democracy is thriving in the Union Territory at the grassroot level… and Central government schemes are being rapidly implemented,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday said in the next 25 years, Jammu and Kashmir will script new chapter of development. “Rs 20,000 Crore worth projects related to connectivity and electricity have been inaugurated today and local youth will get employed with the start of these projects,” the Prime Minister said from the jam-packed venue while addressing all Gram Sabhas across the country from Palli village in Samba district on National Panchayati Raj Day. Modi also flagged off several developmental projects worth over 20,000 crore in the Union Territory. This was the first ever visit of the Prime Minister to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 by the Centre. He said the Centrally sponsored schemes are being rapidly implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and people are being benefitted from them. “We are making efforts to give impetus to the development of Jammu and Kashmir and our efforts will definitely generate employment to a large number of youth of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Reaching out to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi promised that the youth would not suffer anymore the way their parents and grandparents suffered in the past. “I assure, rather promise that the youth of J&K would not see any more hardships and sufferings seen by their parents and grandparents,” said the Prime Minister. “I met the Panchayat representatives on my visit and heard them, their dreams and mission. I felt happy on seeing their commitment towards development and they actually displayed “Sab Ka Prayas,” said Modi. Stating that democracy was taken to the grassroot level in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said more than 30,000 panchayati representatives are presently running governance related affairs. “For the first time, peaceful three-tier Panchayati elections were held. Past two years, have seen huge development in J&K. Almost 200 new laws were extended to J&K and empowered people of this place,” he said. Benefits mostly reach out to Dalits, women, children and downtrodden people of J&K and after 75 years, Valimiki Samaj people are equal to any other citizen of India. These people suffered a lot, the PM said and added, “these people got freedom after 75 years of India’s independence.” “We are taking a major step towards our Glasgow goal of making India carbon-neutral. With the inauguration of a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, it will make it the first panchayat to become carbon neutral,” he said. “Today, sons and daughters of every section of the society can fearlessly pursue their dreams. The sections that were not able to benefit from the reservation system are now able to take advantage of it…. When we talk about Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, we also talk about erasing the differences and bringing the communities together,” the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said the government is working towards connecting Jammu and Kashmir with other parts of India throughout the year. The day is not far away when the Devi of Kanyakumari will meet Vaishno Devi with a single road, he added. Modi also said tourism is thriving in Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth around Rs 20,000 crore. The PM laid the foundation stone of the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project to be constructed on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore. He also laid the foundation stone of the Kwar Hydroelectric project. The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs 4500 crore. He also laid the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs 7500 crore. He inaugurated the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, built at a cost of over Rs 3,100 crore. The 8.45 Km long tunnel would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km, and reduce journey time by around one and a half hours. The tunnel would help establish an all weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir, and bring the two regions closer. Modi also launched a new initiative named Amrit Sarovar with a view to ensure rejuvenation of water bodies in the country. It is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country. The PM directly transferred a total of Rs 44.70 crore as prize money ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh to the bank account of 322 awardee Panchayats across 31 States and UTs in the country digitally. This year, for National Panchayat Awards–2022 (Appraisal Year 2020-21), a total of 322 numbers of awards to Panchayats have been declared. In order to further expand the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras, the Prime Minister also dedicated 100 Jan Aushadi Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available.