Internet services snapped in Valley, restrictions blocked the roads, traffic took the back seat, choppers started doing rounds; Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a busy day in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
On his day-long visit, he took multiple stages in different regions of the state including Leh, Jammu, and Srinagar.
Speaking to people in Leh, Mr. Modi said that his government believes in working faster and the country has left behind the culture of delays.
Targeting previous government, he said, “I want the country to get completely rid of this culture of delays. Whatever project we begin, we try our level best to finish it within the stipulated time.”
While inaugurating the projects, PM said that with the improvement of connectivity in this region, the tourism and employment opportunities will also increase. He also announced five new trekking routes in Ladakh.
Addressing the changes in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Act, he said, “The council has been given more rights concerning the expenditures. Now the Autonomous Council releases the money sent for the region’s development.”
Flying from Ladakh, Mr. Modi headed towards Jammu to lay the foundation of many projects in Vijaypur, wherein, he said during his speech that India will never forget the sacrifices of Kashmir Pandits when they left their homes in wake of “violence and terrorism”, and he always remained in pain because of it.
He laid foundation stones for six major projects that require an investment of Rs 6000 crore.
Adding to it, he said that center is committed to preserving the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, and “the Kashmiri displaced brothers and sisters, and is devoted to their dignity and pride.”
He inaugurated the projects including AIIMS at Vajpur, planned to be constructed on 258 acres of land, and would cost Rs 1616 crore, as per officials, will be ready by 2023. The 700-bed AIIMS campus will have a 100-seat medical college and a 60-berth nursing school as well and 18 super specialties.
PM laid the foundation stone for the fifth center of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) costing 16.5 crores in Jammu and will be spread over 15 acres of land donated by state government.
He also launched Rs 186 crore scheme for beatification and counter-pollution measures of Devika and Tawi rivers. PM also inaugurated 1640 meter long bridge on Chenab in Sajwal at a budget of Rs 206 crore. The double lane bridge would reduce a distance of 50 km to merely three and would help a host of a population to get closer.
Apart from these projects, PM Modi inaugurated 624 MW Kiru hydroelectric project of Rupees 4710 crore. This project is being executed by the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd in Kishtwar on Chenab River. The project would produce 2272 million units of energy annually and create nearly adjust 2000 people.
In the Valley, PM Modi started his speech in Kashmiri verses and paid tribute to the late Kashmiri army man Nazir Ahmad Wani, who was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district last year, and Aurangzeb who was killed by militants after being kidnapped.
Mentioning Panchayat Elections, he said that it gave him happiness when people came to out to vote, despite threats, for the development of the country.
Though, in the Valley, he was received with a complete shutdown, called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yaseen Malik.
He addressed Kashmiri youth as ‘peace-seekers’, and said, “we will tackle every terrorist in a befitting way and will break the backbone of terror in the state and fight it with all our might.”
Talking about the Kashmiri Pandits, he said that Kashmiryat suggests that they must return with dignity to their own homes, their lands and place to which their memories are linked with. He said that with state governments, cooperation, they are building transit accommodations at Vessu (Qazigund), Singh Pora (Pattan) as he laid the foundation stones for two clusters of flats in Ganderbal and Bandipore. “We will have to provide the shelter to anybody who is willing to return home,” Modi said. He said under the package that he announced earlier, some people have been given jobs.