Arjun Sharma

Jammu, April 24

Addressing the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spelled out initiatives for peace and development and assured that they would not inherit the problems faced by their parents and grandparents.

On his first official visit to J&K after the repeal of Section 370, the Prime Minister said: ‘Notice my words. The problems faced by your previous generations will not be faced by you. I’ll make sure.

Prime Minister Modi was visiting the Palli panchayat in Samba district of Jammu on the National Panchayati Raj Day.

Underlining how democracy and development go hand in hand at J&K, Prime Minister Modi said this year’s Panchayati Raj Diwas celebrated here marked a big change. “It is a great pride that democracy has reached the local level at J&K,” he said.

He inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of development projects worth Rs 20,000 crore. He said a new development story is being written with many investors now interested in J&K. “Over the past 70 years, investments worth only Rs 17,000 crore have materialized here. But in the past two years, projects worth Rs 38,000 crore have been launched. Investors come to UT with no fear now,” the Prime Minister said. Mentioning as to how women and the Valmiki community of J&K have benefited in recent years, the Prime Minister said that 175 central laws have become applicable in the Union Territory, benefiting women and disadvantaged sections of society. “Anomalies in the reserves have also been removed and the community of Valmiki has been freed from the shackles imposed on it for decades,” he said.

Referring to his vision of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat”, the Prime Minister explained that the vision focuses on connectivity and eliminating distances. “Distances, whether of heart, languages, customs or resources, will be eliminated. This is our top priority today,” he added.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, Jitendra Singh and Kapil Moreshwar Patil were present at the event.

The Prime Minister addressed panchayats across the country via virtual mode in which he pointed out that groundwater was polluted due to excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers in agriculture. “Panchayats need to come forward and promote organic farming,” he added.

Palli is the first to become carbon neutral

Palli village in Samba district has become the country’s first “carbon neutral panchayat” with a 500 kilowatt solar power plant. It will supply clean electricity to the 340 houses in the village

Inauguration of the Banihal-qazigund tunnel

The PM opened the 8.45 km long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel. It will reduce the distance between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir by 16 km and reduce travel time by 1.5 hours

Hydro projects on maps

The Prime Minister also laid the stones for the hydel projects in Kishtwar (850 MW) and Kwar (540 MW) and Amrit Sarovar’s initiative to develop 75 water bodies in all districts of the country.

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