PM Modi’s visit to Palli: ‘Democracy, development reaching grassroots in J&K’

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed India’s ‘gram sabhas’ from Jammu’s Palli village on the occasion National Panchayati Raj Diwas. PM Modi, on his first major visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 inaugurated and laid the foundation of multiple development initiatives worth Rs 20,000 crore in the Union Territory.
Democracy reached grassroot
*Panchayati Raj Diwas being celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir today is a symbol of change, PM Modi said. “This year’s Panchayati Raj Day, being celebrated in J&K marks a big change. It is a matter of great pride that when democracy has reached the grassroot level in J&K, I am interacting with you all from here,” he said.
*He asserted that the schemes of the central government are being rapidly implemented in the UT and those are benefiting people.
*The Prime Minister said, “Be it democracy or development, today Jammu and Kashmir, is setting a new example. New dimensions of development have been created in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two-three years,” PM Modi also said in his address.
*He noted that work is going on at a fast pace to “give new impetus to the development of Jammu & Kashmir”. “A new story of development is being written in Jammu & Kashmir. Many private investors are interested to come to J&K,” PM Modi mentioned in his speech.
Palli becomes first carbon-neutral panchayat
*”Today, 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,” PM Modi said.
*”I talked about ‘Sabka Vikas’ from the stands of Red Fort, but Palli has shown me the true power of ‘Sabka Prayas’,” he said.
PM speaks on equality and women empowerment
*After 75 years of independence, people of the Valley are now equal to any other citizen of India,” the PM also said, “Today, sons and daughters of every section of the society can fearlessly peruse their dreams,” he added.
*He also urged every Panchayat to encourage, train and empower women to join water conservation efforts and increase “mahila bhaagidari [women participation]”.
*”Over 3 lakh water associations have been made in the country. In it, it is important that 50% of the members are women and 25% are from weaker sections of the society,” the PM said on Sunday.
PM talks connectivity, tourism
*”When I speak about ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’, our focus is on connectivity and bridging distances. Our aim is to provide all-weather connectivity to J&K,” the Prime Minister said while addressing India’s ‘gram sabhas’ from Jammu.
*Talking about connectivity, he said, “The day is not far when the Devi of Kanyakumari will take a single road to see Vaishno Devi.”
*PM Modi also mentioned tourism in his address. “I have been told that tourism spots in Jammu and Kashmir have been booked till June-July next year. Tourists are thronging the Valley like never before,” he noted.
PM Modi inaugurates projects worth Rs 20,000 crore
*”Projects worth Rs 20,000 crore, related to connectivity and electricity, have been inaugurated in the Valley today,” the PM said adding that in a bid to speed up the development in Jammu and Kashmir, many development initiatives are being taken up that would provide huge employment opportunities to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
*He laid 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 the 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.
*”With the inauguration of a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli in Samba District, it is moving towards becoming the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral…The people of Palli have demonstrated what ‘Sabka prayas’ can do,” said PM Modi.
*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. 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.
*PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs 7,500 crore. They are 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 with spur connectivity to Jammu Airport.
*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 made functional were also dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.
Event held amid tight security in the Valley
*The event was held amid a multi-tier security in the Valley. A red alert was sounded in the UT following recent encounters.
*Barely hours before PM Modi’s arrival in Palli hamlet, a blast took place in an agriculture field, some kilometres away from the venue, triggering concern in the security establishment. However, the police suspected that the blast was caused by a lightning strike or a meteorite.
*The Prime Minister on Sunday also visited an exhibition in Palli that showcased the latest innovations enabling farmers, sarpanches, and village heads to improve their income and their produce
*He also transferred award money to the Panchayats that won of awards across different categories.

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