Samba, April 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first major visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on Sunday inaugurated and laid the foundation of multiple development initiatives worth Rs 20,000 crore in the Union Territory.
“Projects worth Rs 20,000 crore related to connectivity and electricity have been inaugurated here today. In a bid to bid speed up the development in Jammu and Kashmir, many development initiatives are being taken up in the Union Territory,” said PM Modi in Palli Panchayat of Samba district.
PM Modi further said that these initiatives will provide huge employment opportunities to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Ratle and Kwar Hydroelectric projects. The 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project will be constructed on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore. The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on the Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs 4500 crore. Both the projects will help meet the power requirements of the region.
“With the inauguration of a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli in Samba District, it is moving towards becoming the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral…The people of Palli have demonstrated what ‘Sabka prayas’ can do,” said PM Modi.
Prime Minister inaugurated the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, built at a cost of over Rs 3100 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 hour.
It is a twin-tube tunnel – one for each direction of travel – with the twin tubes being interconnected by a cross passage every 500m, for maintenance and emergency evacuation. The tunnel would help establish an all-weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir and bring the two regions closer.
Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs. 7500 crore. They are for the construction of 4/6 lane access controlled Delhi-Katra-Amritsar Expressway from: Balsua on NH-44 to Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar; Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar to Jakh, Vijaypur; and Jakh, Vijaypur to Kunjwani, Jammu with spur connectivity to Jammu Airport.
In order to further expand the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir and to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available, 100 Kendras made functional were also dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.
These Kendras are located in the remote corners of the UT. He will also inaugurate a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, which will make it the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral.
Prime Minister also visited the INTACH photo gallery which depicts the rural heritage of the region, and Nokia Smartpur, a rural entrepreneurship-based model designed to create ideal smart villages in India.
PM Modi is addressing a gathering of more than 30,000 Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members of Jammu and Kashmir, while PRIs from across the country are connected virtually for the Prime Minister’s address. (Agencies)