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Democracy thriving, Centre’s schemes rapidly implemented in J&K: PM

The Prime Minister addressed all Gram Sabhas across the country from Palli village in Samba district on National Panchayati Raj Day and flagged off several developmental projects worth over 20,000 crore in the Union Territory.

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Jammu/ New Delhi: In his first ever visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 by the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that “democracy is thriving in the Union Territory at the grassroot level… and Central government schemes are being rapidly implemented.”

The Prime Minister addressed all Gram Sabhas across the country from Palli village in Samba district on National Panchayati Raj Day and flagged off several developmental projects worth over 20,000 crore in the Union Territory.

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“It’s a big day in the development journey of Jammu and Kashmir. We are inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth over Rs 20,000 crore. It is a matter of immense pride that democracy is thriving in Jammu and Kashmir at the grassroot level,” the Prime Minister said addressing all Gram Sabhas across the country.

The Prime Minister said that the schemes of the Central government are being rapidly implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and benefitting the people. “Efforts are being made to give impetus to the development of Jammu and Kashmir. These efforts will provide employment to large number of youth of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that earlier, only Rs 5000 crore were allocated for Jammu and Kashmir, but today the state has received Rs 22,000 crore budget for the development. “Earlier, a file that was initiated for the development of Jammu and Kashmir took 2-3 months to reach the state. Today it reaches here within three weeks,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that he talks about ‘Sabka Vikas’ from Red Fort, but Palli village in Jammu and Kashmir has shown me the true power of ‘Sabka Prayas’.

“We are taking a major step towards our Glasgow goal of making India carbon-neutral. With the inauguration of a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, it will make it the first panchayat to become carbon neutral,” he said. The 500 KW solar power plant at Palli will make it the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral.

He said that after 75 years of independence, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are now equal to any other citizen of India.

“Today, sons and daughters of every section of the society can fearlessly peruse their dreams. The sections that were not able to benefit from the reservation system are now able to take advantages of it…. When we talk about Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, we also talk about erasing the differences and bringing the communities together,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that the government is working towards connecting Jammu and Kashmir with other parts of India throughout the year. The day is not far away when the Devi of Kanyakumari will meet Vaishno Devi with a single road, he added.

Modi also said that tourism is thriving in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have been told that tourism spots have been booked till June July of next year. Tourists are thronging the Valley like never before,” he added.

Describing the role played by women in the development of the society, the Prime Minister said that when the Nari Shakti decides to do something, nothing is impossible.

“If our Mahila Shakti comes together for water conservation, we will be able to make progress in no time. I urge every Panchayat to encourage, train and empower women to join water conservation efforts and increase Mahila Bhaagidari,” he said adding that the government is putting immense effort in empowering women in Panchayati Raj.

National Panchayati Raj Day is observed on April 24 every year to celebrate the constitutional status accorded to Panchayati Ray system in the country. Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth around Rs 20,000 crore.

The PM laid the foundation stone of the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project to be constructed on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore. He also laid the foundation stone of the Kwar Hydroelectric project.

The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs 4500 crore. He also laid the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs 7500 crore. He inaugurated 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 hour. The tunnel would help establish an all weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir, and bring the two regions closer.

Modi also launched a new initiative named Amrit Sarovar with a view to ensure rejuvenation of water bodies in the country. It is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country.

The PM directly transferred a total of Rs 44.70 crore as prize money ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh to the bank account of 322 awardee Panchayats across 31 States and UTs in the country digitally.

This year, for National Panchayat Awards–2022 (Appraisal Year 2020-21), a total of 322 number of awards to Panchayats have been declared. In order to further expand the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras, the Prime Minister also dedicated 100 Jan Aushadi Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available. UNI ASU ACL1449

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