SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will not forget the sacrifices that Kashmir Pandits made when they left their homes in wake of violence and terrorism. Modi was speaking to a huge jubilant gathering in Vijapur where he earlier laid foundation stones for six major projects that require an investment of Rs 6000 crore.
“Centre is committed to preserving the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, the Kashmiri displaced brothers and sisters, and is devoted to their dignity and pride,” Prime Minister said. He said it is a very important issue. “I am personally in pain for them. That pain was in me, always.”
Prime Minister said that as part of the package he announced earlier, two transit accommodations including one at Bandipore is being inaugurated. “In wake f terrorism and violence, they left their homes and India will never forget that, ever.”
In his speech, Prime Minister invoked the issues of religious and cultural spots in the neighbouring countries and said India will have to stand up for the rights of the people who were separated in 1947. He actually started with the birthplace of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji that falls in Pakistan. He said had the people were concerned – apparently referring to the past, this important spot would be part of India.
“The previous governments had the tendency to ignore the necessities and sentiments of the country. You are well aware of that. Take Kartarpur Corridor for instance. Had they paid attention, then the land of Guru Nanak Dev would have been a part of India,” Prime Minister said. “Many Indian-origin people who live in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh have faced injustice there.” He said India will have to stand up for their rights, their life and their dignity.
Given the fact that Jammu is a major contributor to the defence services, the Prime Minister in his speech invoked the issues related to the army and other security agencies. He said the Congress government had set aside Rs 500 crore for the one rank-one promotion. “But that was misleading,” Modi said. “Our government has spent Rs 35000 crore on that of which Rs 11000 crore were arrears and have been credited to the families of the servicemen.” He said the defence budget has reached three lakh crore rupees and that will benefit the families whose members are serving the defence forces.
Prime Minister used the occasion to his respects for the soldiers who gave their lives and made a special mention of slain soldiers including Nazir Wani, Aurangzeb, and Imtiaz Mir.
But most of the speech was dedicated to his Vikaas narrative. Prime Minister said he is giving a new direction to the developmental activities of Jammu. While he said he is laying the foundation stone of Rs 6000 crore projects, some major projects are already at advanced stages of implementation.
Insisting that the connectivity in the region is being strengthened, the Prime Minister said that the government has already managed the mandatory clearances for implementing the Rs 21000 crore Chanainai-Sudh Mahadev Road and work is about to start. Besides, he mentioned that work is going on at a better pace to implement Rs 5100 crore Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch highway.
Modi regretted that for all these years there was no effort to manage the stalemate between Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab over the Shahpur Kandi dam project. “Now the agreement is done and 32000 hectors in Kathua and Samba would be irrigated by this water,” Modi said.
“In seventy years, the overall seats for MBBS available in Jammu and Kashmir were only 500 and BJP government has more than doubled this capacity,” Modi said. “We have already released Rs 750 crore for the five new colleges across Jammu and Kashmir and some of them will start teaching this year.” While IIMC is being started, the IIT building is ready and IIM complex will start constructions soon.
Prime Minister said that because of an alliance, many things could not happen. He specially mentioned the Panchayat and credit the administration for making it happened without any violence and with huge participation. “IT is historic, the participation was 70 per cent,” the Prime Minister said. “Now the terrorism is being harshly handled.” He said no stone will remain unturned in re-establishing democracy.
Earlier, he laid the foundation stone of various projects.
These include the AIIMS at Vajpur which will be constructed on 258 acres of land and would cost Rs 1616 crore. Officials said it will be ready by 2023. The 750-bed AIIMS campus will have a 100-seat medical college and a 60-berth nursing school as well. It will have 18 super specialities.
Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the 1640 meter long bridge on Chenab. It will come up at a cost of Rs 206 crore. The double land bridge would reduce a distance of 50 km to merely three and would help a host of the population to get closer. It will be ready for operation in 30 months, officials at the foundation stone ceremony said.
Prime Minister Modi also launched a Rs 186 crore scheme for beatification and counter-pollution measures of Devika and Tawi rivers. Devika is located in Udhampur.
At a cost of Rs 16.5 crore, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). This will be spread over 15 acres of land that the state government has donated. It is the fifth centre of the IIMC. Officials said the centre has already started in 2012 with a diploma course in 2012. It will soon launch similar courses in Hindi and Urdu.
There will be a College of Engineering in Kathua that will be set up at a cost of Rs 26 crore. It will cater to the needs of 800 students.
Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of Rs 4710 crore, 624 MW Kiru hydroelectric project. This project is being executed by the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd in Kishtwar on Chenab River. To be implemented within the 54 months, the project would produce 2271 million units and create 2000 jobs directly and indirectly.
On the occasion, there was a memorandum of understanding between the state-owned JKSPDC and NHPC for execution of 850 MW Ratle power project. It will cost Rs 6215.61 crore and will produce 3136.80 million units of energy a year. The NHPC has eight operational projects in the state and has an installed capacity of 2339 MWs in the state.