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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, inaugurated the 9-kilometre-long Chenani - Nashri tunnel on the Jammu – Srinagar highway. After this, he addressed a public rally in Udhampur and said that some people were pelting stones in Kashmir while some others were breaking stones in the same Kashmir to usher in development. PM Modi tourism is the road towards Kashmir’s development. Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also spoke on the occasion and said that the Chenani – Nashri tunnel would not only help the people of Jammu & Kashmir by reducing travel distance but would also bring hearts together and bring her state closer to the nation.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also thanked the Prime Minister for placing trust on her government through difficult times of the previous year. She said to PM Modi, “I cannot help but mention the way you and your government were supportive towards me and my government during the especially difficult times in the last year. You sent the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to support us and it helped us a lot in coming out of those testing times.”

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti stressed on the need of the BJP-PDP alliance for Kashmir and said, “My father Mufti Mohammad Saeed joined hands with you to bring Kashmir out of its troubles”. She also told the Prime Minister that she was happy about how he always succeeded in whatever he sets his mind to.

She spoke of resolving the Kashmir issue through dialogue. She said, “From 1947 till the Kargil war we have won many wars. But our real strength lies in the spirit of democracy in which we resolve issues through dialogue.”

Reiterating her trust in Prime Minister Modi’s efforts towards resolving the Kashmir issue Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “With the common agenda that our alliance has, we will show a new path to the youth of Kashmir. Like your call for a New India, you will also inspire the making of a New Jammu Kashmir.”

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s connection with Jammu and Kashmir and said that tour operators requested her to invite the Prime Minister to visit Kashmir Valley to send a message to the whole world that Kashmir is safe for tourists.

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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
PM emphasizes significance of tracking, tracing and testing; highlights importance of increasing RTPCR tests
Government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.