The Bold Voice of J&K

PM Modi’s visit to Jammu and mega development drive

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Dr Shenaz Ganai

As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his upcoming visit to Jammu on February 20, 2024, the anticipation among the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir is palpable. This visit isn’t merely ceremonial; it’s a meticulously strategically timed to amplify the government’s developmental agenda and strengthen its bond with the people of Jammu and Kashmir who with their open arms welcome the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and are ready to follow the path which his vision has created. I remember Majrooh Sultanpuri’s couplet,
“main Akela Hi Chalta Tha Janib-E-Manzil Magar,
Log Saath Aate Gae Aur Karvaan Banta Gaya.”
The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi carries immense developmental significance and the Modi-led government’s proactive stance towards operationalizing a slew of developmental initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir. With a combined investment exceeding Rs 30,500 crore, the inauguration, dedication, and foundation laying ceremonies for various projects symbolize a strategic move towards strengthening socio-economic infrastructure. This approach, spanning healthcare, education, transportation, infrastructure, and civic amenities, represents the Modi-led government’s commitment to steering the region towards comprehensive progress and inclusive development. The Prime Minister’s engagement during the event, including the distribution of appointment orders to approximately 1500 new government recruits and his slated interaction with beneficiaries of various government schemes under the ‘Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu’ program, resonates deeply with the political mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas, Sabka Prayaas.”
I remember Makhdoom Mohiuddin’s couplet that resonates with the mantra, “hayat le ke chalo kaenaat le ke chalo, Chalo to saare zamane ko saath le ke chalo”.
The Prime Minister Modi’s visit will be the monumental boost to the education sector, with the inauguration and laying of foundation stones of various developmental projects including the prestigious institutions such as IIT Jammu, IIM Jammu, and these educational landmarks not only signify a paradigm shift in Jammu and Kashmir’s academic landscape but also serve as catalysts for nurturing talent, innovation, and driving socio-economic transformation across.
The inauguration of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jammu, symbolizes a pivotal moment in the developmental landscape, a strategic investment in the region’s healthcare infrastructure.
This grand inauguration will usher a new era of healthcare accessibility and excellence, strategically positioning AIIMS Jammu as a cornerstone in the provision of medical services for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. With a staggering investment exceeding 1660 crore and sprawling across 227 acres, AIIMS Jammu will emerge as a beacon of modern healthcare infrastructure that will cater to the diverse needs of patients and medical professionals alike.
The imminent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only emphasizes the government’s steadfast commitment to healthcare and job provisions, but will also strengthen connectivity and transportation infrastructure in the region that also represents a big step to wield connection with masses through the developmental projects. With a visionary eye on progress, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the rail projects, laying the cornerstone for expansive road networks, and the groundbreaking ceremony for stateof-the-art airport terminals. These transformative endeavors not only streamline travel logistics but also serve as catalysts for economic dynamism, tourism revitalization, and the amplification of trade prospects.
Of particular note is the forthcoming laying of the foundation stone for a cutting-edge terminal building at Jammu Airport, spanning an impressive 40,000 square meters. By fortifying air connectivity, invigorating tourism, and propelling commercial activity, this landmark infrastructure initiative promises to act as an essential cornerstone in propelling the region’s economic route towards unprecedented heights.
In a historic step towards fulfilling the enduring aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for robust connections with the mainland India, the scenario is set to be transformed by the inauguration of pioneering rail networks. Manzoor Hashmi has rightly said, “yaqin ho to koi rasta nikalta hai, Hawa ki ott bhi lekar Chairag Jalta hai”.
With this confidence, we are sure that in another couple of years, J&K will be a completely different and a transformed region. Spearheaded by the Narendra Modi, the unveiling of the new rail line traversing Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan (48 Km) and the electrification of the Baramulla-Srinagar-BanihalSangaldan stretch (185.66 Km) will write a new chapter in the region’s transportation saga. This transformative journey, the inaugural run of the valley’s maiden electric train and the maiden service between Sangaldan and Baramulla stations will mark a symbolic union of progress and prosperity. Beyond mere infrastructure, these rail projects stand as beacons of connectivity, indicating a sustainable future and igniting the flames of economic revitalization across the region.
Witnessing a surge in nationwide road connectivity efforts, Prime Minister Modi’s vision of “connecting Jammu and Kashmir” is swiftly materializing with the initiation of pivotal road projects. These include two segments (44.22 KM) of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, linking Jammu to Katra, and Phase two of the four-laning of Srinagar Ring Road. Five packages for enhancing the 161 km long Srinagar-BaramullaUri stretch of NH-01 and the construction of Kulgam Bypass & Pulwama Bypass on NH-444 further strengthen the regional infrastructure.
In a historic move to strengthen the infrastructure and public amenities, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for a cutting-edge Common User Facility (CUF) Petroleum depot in Jammu, a project valued at Rs 677 crore. This state-of-the-art automated depot will boast a storage capacity of 100,000 KL, accommodating various fuels including Motor Spirit, High Speed Diesel, and Aviation Turbine Fuel, among others. Moreover, the Prime Minister is set to inaugurate and initiate a slew of development projects worth over Rs 3150 crore for strengthening the civic infrastructure and provisioning of public facilities across Jammu and Kashmir. The projects to be inaugurated by Prime Minister include, Road projects & Bridges; Grid Stations, receiving stations transmission line Projects; Common Effluent Treatment Plants and Sewage Treatment Plants; Several Degree College buildings; Intelligent Traffic Management system in Srinagar city; Modern Narwal Fruit Mandi; Drug Testing Laboratory at Kathua; and Transit accommodation – 224 flats at Ganderbal and Kupwara. Beyond the veneer of development, Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Jammu carries developmental initiatives and engaging directly with beneficiaries, and its obvious that his visit will strengthen the party’s appeal in the region through a narrative of progress, prosperity, and proactive governance, thereby validating the slogan, ‘Teesri baar Modi Sarkar, ab ki baar 400 paar’.
In this essence, Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the region epitomizes a bold vision for a transformed Jammu and Kashmir, characterized by infrastructure, thriving institutions, and empowered communities. As the region lines on a new line of growth and development, guided by the Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership, the promise of a brighter future beckons, beckoning all stakeholders to unite in the pursuit of a Viksit Bharat, a Viksit Jammu, and a Viksit Kashmir. I wholeheartedly welcome the visionary and a statesman to the land of temples. Let me conclude by Meer Taqi Meer’s couplet, “Bare duniya me raho gham-zada ya shaad raho, Aisa kuchh kar ke chalo yaan ki bahut yaad raho,” and yes, our Prime Minister, you will be remembered forever for your visionary and statesmanship.
(The writer is Ex Member of Legislative Council Jammu and Kashmir)

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