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Modi assures J-K youth in first visit after abrogation of Article 370

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
April 24, 2022 17:42 IST
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Reaching out to the youth of the Kashmir Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spelled out initiatives for peace and development, and assured they will not inherit the problems faced by their parents and grandparents.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Lt Governor of J-K Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Jitendra Singh, during a rally on Panchayati Raj Day, at Palli in Samba district, on Sunday, April 24, 2022. All photographs: Press Information Bureau of India

In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stones of several projects worth around Rs 20,000 crore for the union territory.

These included the opening of the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the two regions.


"The youth of the Valley, your father and mother, your dada and dadi, your nana and nani (grandparents), had lived a life of trouble (museebat). My youth, you will not live such a life of trouble. I assure this," Modi said in a message to the Kashmiri youth.

The prime minister, who was addressing the Panchayat Divas rally in Samba, also said that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir should trust his word, and highlighted the peace and development initiatives taken by the government in the past few years.

"Projects worth Rs 20,000 crore related to connectivity and electricity have been inaugurated here today. In a bid to speed up the development in Jammu and Kashmir, many development initiatives are being taken up in the union territory," he said.

Modi said that these initiatives will provide huge employment opportunities to the union territory's youth.

"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," he said.

"Be it democracy or development, Jammu and Kashmir is setting a new example for the rest of the country. New dimensions of development have been created in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two to three years," the prime minister said.

Praising Jammu and Kashmir for showing the way forward for Panchayati Raj, he said that it is a symbol of change that this year the Panchayati Raj Day is being celebrated in the union territory.

IMAGE: Modi, Sinha and others during the PM's visit to the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) photo gallery of Rural Heritage, in Samba district.

"It is (a matter of) great pride that I am addressing Panchayati Raj Institutions across the country from Jammu and Kashmir when democracy has reached the grass root," Modi said.

Asserting that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are witnessing such an event after decades, he said that it is proving an example for the rest of the country.

"Jammu and Kashmir will write a new chapter of development," he said, adding that Rs 38,000 crore of private investment has been received in the union territory in two years as compared to Rs 17,000 crore in the last seven decades.

"The central laws that empower people were not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. But now they have been implemented by this government for empowering people," Modi said.

Modi said that his government has implemented as many as 175 central laws and the Panchayati Raj system for the UT's people who were 'deprived' of these benefits when Jammu and Kashmir had special status under Article 370.

Modi also expressed happiness that it was for the first time that elections for the three-tier Panchayati Raj system were conducted peacefully sometime back in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The last two to three years have seen a lot of development initiatives being undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir and about 175 central laws were implemented here that gave due rights to the people of the UT," he said.

"The Panchayati Raj system being a good was tom-tommed, people felt proud about it, which was not wrong. But people of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived from the benefits of this system...until our government came to power in Delhi," Modi said.

The prime minister said he was happy that when democracy has reached the grassroots in Jammu and Kashmir, he was talking to gram panchayats across the country from here.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has directly provided funds worth Rs 22,000 crore to panchayats of the union territory for 'strengthening grassroots democracy' as compared to the Rs 5,000 crore allocation made under this head earlier, he said.

IMAGE: People attend Modi's rally at Palli in Samba.

The central government's policies and schemes are being 'implemented rapidly' and this is benefiting the UT's villages, Modi said and listed schemes like those that provided cooking gas connection, electricity, water and toilets.

"The private investment in Jammu and Kashmir for the last seven decades has been about Rs 17,000 crore but in the last two years, it is Rs 38,000 crore...private companies and investors are coming here now," he said.

The prime minister said that Jammu and Kashmir will write a new chapter of success in the next 25 years which is the 'Amrit Kaal' period of Indian independence.

The youth of the region will get employment with the rapid pace of development, he said.

He said Jammu and Kashmir's residents, who were not getting the benefits of reservation till Article 370 was operational, are now getting it.

"We are making attempts that all areas of Jammu and Kashmir remain connected for 12 months of the year...we are also ensuring the same for border villages under the 'vibrant village scheme' that was announced in the recent Union Budget," he said.

Border states and UTs like Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab will benefit from this border villages development scheme, Modi said.

He also urged farmers to move towards natural farming as the current system of using chemical fertilisers was destroying and contaminating the soil and the underground water.

Modi asked citizens to undertake segregation of dry and wet garbage and sought the cooperation of everyone to achieve a 'carbon neutral' ecosystem.

The prime minister also talked about the importance of using solar pumps in agriculture, and also discussed about the usage of LED bulbs and solar cookers while interacting with panchayat representatives of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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