Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth around Rs 20,000 crore on Sunday, with the government stating that since the introduction of constitutional reforms with regard to Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, the Centre is focused on bringing benefits of development to the people.
The projects being inaugurated and whose foundation stones are being laid during this visit will go a long way in facilitating the provision of basic amenities, ensuring ease of mobility and development of infrastructure in the region, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
The Prime Minister will undertake a visit to Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the celebration of National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24 at around 11.30 am and address all the Gram Sabhas across the country. He will visit Palli Panchayat in the Samba district.
During the visit, the Prime Minister will inaugurate 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. 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.
The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs 7,500 crore, 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 to boost connectivity to Jammu Airport.
The Prime Minister will also lay 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 5,300 crore. The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs 4,500 crore. Both the projects will help meet the power requirements of the region.
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 have been made functional and will be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister. These Kendras are located in the remote corners of the Union Territory.
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.
The Prime Minister will hand over SVAMITVA cards to beneficiaries under the scheme. He will also transfer award money to Panchayats which are winners of awards given across different categories on National Panchayati Raj Day for their achievements.
The Prime Minister will also visit 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.
With a view to ensuring the rejuvenation of water bodies, during the visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister will also launch a new initiative named Amrit Sarovar. It is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country. It is yet another ode of the government towards the celebration of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
The Prime Minister will attend the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Awards ceremony in Mumbai at around 5 pm. On this occasion, Prime Minister will be conferred the 1st Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award. This award, which has been instituted in memory of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, will be given every year exclusively to one individual for the exemplary contribution towards nation building.