On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for a number of development projects worth around 20,000 crore, according to the government, which claims that since the introduction of constitutional reforms in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, the Centre has been focused on bringing development benefits to the people.
The Prime Minister's office said in a statement that the projects being launched and whose foundation stones are being set during this tour will go a long way toward facilitating the provision of basic utilities, assuring ease of transportation, and the development of infrastructure in the region.
On April 24, at around 11.30 a.m., the Prime Minister will go to Jammu and Kashmir to attend the National Panchayati Raj Day celebrations and address all Gram Sabhas across the country. In the Samba district, he will pay a visit to Palli Panchayat.
During his visit, the Prime Minister will open the Banihal Qazigund Road tunnel, which cost over 3,100 crore to construct. The 8.45-kilometer tunnel would shorten the distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 kilometres and cut travel time in half. It's a two-tube tunnel, one for each direction of travel, with a cross passage every 500 metres for maintenance and emergency evacuation. The tunnel will help provide an all-weather link between Jammu and Kashmir, bringing the two regions closer together.
The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a 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, at a cost of over Rs 7,500 crore.
The foundation stone for the Ratle and Kwar hydroelectric projects will also be laid by the Prime Minister. The Ratle Hydroelectric Project, with an installed capacity of 850 MW, will be built on the Chenab River in Kishtwar District at a cost of roughly Rs 5,300 crore. On the Chenab River in Kishtwar District, the 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project would be completed at a cost of around Rs 4,500 crore. Both initiatives will contribute to meeting the region's power needs.
100 Jan Aushadi Kendras have been made operational and will be dedicated to the country by the Prime Minister in order to further extend the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir and to make good quality generic medications available at affordable prices. These Kendras can be found in some of the Union Territory's most distant areas.
He will also dedicate a 500-kilowatt solar power plant at Palli, making it the country's first carbon-neutral panchayat.
Beneficiaries of the scheme will be given SVAMITVA cards by the Prime Minister. He would also distribute prize money to Panchayats that have won honours for their accomplishments on National Panchayati Raj Day in several categories.
The Prime Minister will also pay a visit to the INTACH photo collection, which depicts the region's rural legacy, as well as Nokia Smartpur, a rural entrepreneurship-based model aimed at establishing ideal smart villages in India.
During his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister will also launch a new programme called Amrit Sarovar to ensure the regeneration of water bodies. It aims to develop and revitalise 75 water bodies in each of the country's districts. It is yet another ode from the administration in honour of the "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav."
At roughly 5 p.m., the Prime Minister will attend the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Awards ceremony in Mumbai. The Prime Minister will receive the 1st Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award on this occasion. This award, named after Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, will be granted annually to one individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the nation's development.