Samba: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated and laid the foundation of multiple development projects worth over Rs 20,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, including the opening of the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the two regions of the union territory.
Modi, who celebrated the Panchayat Raj Diwas at Palli Gram Panchayat in Samba, said the youth of Jammu and Kashmir will get employment opportunities through the overall development of the union territory.
This is the prime minister’s first visit to J-K after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
”The inauguration and laying of the foundation of the project of Rs 20,000 crores took place today. This will give new impetus to the development of Jammu and Kashmir,” Modi said in an address to the people here.
He said that it is a big day for speeding up the development of the region. ”I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for this”.
”Rs 38,000 crores of private investment have been received in J&K in two years as compared to Rs 17,000 crores in last seven decades,” the prime minister said.
The central laws, which would empower people here were not implemented over the years, have been implemented by the present government, he said.
Prime Minister inaugurated the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the Jammu and Kashmir regions of the union territory.
The 8.45 Km long tunnel will reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 Km and reduce the journey time by around one-and-a half-hours, officials said.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of three road packages of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs 7,500 crore, apart from launching ‘Amrit Sarvor’ initiative seeking to develop and rejuvenate 75 water bodies in every district of the country.
Among other projects, Modi also laid the foundation stone for the Rattle and Kwar hydroelectric projects, an 850 MW facility to be constructed on the Chenab river in Kishtwar at a cost of around Rs 5,300 crore, and a 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric project to be built on the same river at a cost of over Rs 4,500 crore.
In order to further expand the network of ‘Jan Aushadi Kendras’ in Jammu and Kashmir, and to make good quality generic medicines available at affordable prices, 100 centers were inaugurated by the Prime Minister. These centers are located in remote corners of the union territory. PM also handed over ‘SVAMITVA’ (survey of villages and mapping with improvised technology in village areas) cards to beneficiaries under the scheme. The cards will give villagers documentary proof of their ownership of properties so that they can use them for financial benefits if required.
He also digitally transferred prize money of Rs 44.70 crore to the bank accounts of 322 awardee Panchayats across 31 states/UTs in the country which are winners of awards given across different categories. The prize money ranged from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.