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Day not far when Kashmir will get connected with Kanyakumari by rail: Modi

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JAMMU: The day is not far when Kashmir will be connected with Kanyakumari by rail, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday as he commissioned a newly completed 48.1-km stretch of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project. The 272-km USBRL is being commissioned in phases — the 118-km Qazigund-Baramulla section was done in October 2009, the 18-km Banihal-Qazigund section in June 2013 and the 25-km Udhampur-Katra section in July 2014.
Development works are happening simultaneously, unlike in the past when work was done in the rest of India but its benefits were either not available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir or were made available very late, the prime minister said here while addressing a public rally.
“Today new airports are being built across the country. Jammu and Kashmir is also not behind. Today the expansion work of the Jammu airport has started. The dream of connecting Kashmir to Kanyakumari by rail has also moved forward today with the commissioning of the (48.1-km) section between Baramulla and Sangaldan,” he said.
Officials said the work on the Katra-Sangaldan section is likely to be completed by May or June.
Prime Minister Modi said that “the day is not far when people will be able to travel across the country by taking a train from Kashmir”.
“Today such a big campaign for electrification of the railways is going on in the entire country, and this region has got a big benefit from it,” said Modi, who also flagged off the first electric train in Kashmir from Baramulla to Sangaldan.

People’s love biggest blessing for us: PM

JAMMU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said his connection with Jammu and Kashmir goes back more than 40 years and people turning up at his rally in large numbers from far-off places despite adverse weather conditions was proof of their love for him.
“The love of the people is the biggest blessing for us,” he said, addressing a public rally at Maulana Azad Stadium here.
“My connection with Jammu and Kashmir is more than 40 years old as I have done a lot of programmes and tours here as an activist. The massive gathering and enthusiasm despite the rain and cold conditions with everyone listening with rapt attention show the love of the people,” Modi said.
He said the programme dedicated to Viksit Bharat was being telecast live in 285 blocks in Jammu and Kashmir and various other places in the country where lakhs of people were watching.
“Such a big programme and that too in Jammu and Kashmir, where nature challenges us every moment. The people of Jammu and Kashmir really deserve to be congratulated for the programme being organised there with so much pomp and show,” the prime minister added.
He congratulated the Paddari tribe, Pahari ethnic group, Gadda Brahmin and Koli communities for their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes, reservation of seats in the assembly for Scheduled Tribes, reservation of Other Backward Classes in the local bodies.
“Modi’s guarantee means fulfilment of that guarantee,” Modi said, adding that ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ is the foundation of the developed Jammu and Kashmir.

This is going to help a lot in keeping pollution down, he highlighted.
He said when a modern train service in the form of ‘Vande Bharat’ was started in the country, one of its initial routes was in Jammu and Kashmir. “We made it easier to reach the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine (at Katra in Jammu) and I am happy that two Vande Bharat trains are presently running on this route,” Modi said. The prime minister, who also inaugurated many roads and laid the foundation for new ones, said road-connectivity across Jammu and Kashmir, including in villages, cities and national highways, has been given due priority.
“The second phase of the Srinagar Ring Road on completion will make it easier for people to visit the Manasbal Lake and the Kheerbhawani temple, while the completed works on the Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri highway will benefit farmers and the tourism sector,” he said.
He said the expansion of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will further improve connectivity and the travel between Jammu and Delhi will become easies.

Modi on upcoming movie about Art 370

JAMMU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, while addressing a rally here, mentioned an upcoming movie about Article 370, emphasising the importance of dissemination of accurate information.
“I have heard that perhaps a film on Article 370 is going to be released this week. I think your ‘Jai Jai Kaar’ (cheers) are going to be heard all over the country,” Modi said, addressing a public rally at Maulana Azad Stadium in the heart of Jammu.
The prime minister’s remarks, made during his second visit to the Jammu region since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, coincided with the film’s imminent release late this week.
While acknowledging his lack of familiarity with the film’s specifics, Modi highlighted the potential of such productions in providing the public with accurate insights.
“I do not know what the film is all about but yesterday I heard on TV that a film is coming on Article 370. Good, it will be useful for people to get correct information,” Modi said.
The film, titled “Article 370”, is produced by Aditya Dhar, renowned for his directorial work on “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, which earned him the National Film Award for Best Director.
Yami Gautam, Priyamani, and Arun Govil are among the star cast in the movie which is set to hit theatres on February 23 under the direction of Aditya Suhas Jambhale.
The release of this film comes ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, further intensifying the public’s interest in the portrayal of revocation of Article 370.

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