Governor of Jammu & Kashmir Sriman N.N. Vohra Ji, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Ji, my colleague in the Council of Ministers Sriman Nitin Gadkari Ji, Dr. Jitendra Singh Ji, R K Singh Ji, Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Sriman Kavindra Gupta Ji, Power minister of the state Sri Sunil Kumar Sharma Ji, Deputy Speaker of Assembly Shri Nazeer Ahmad Khan Ji, Member of Parliament and senior leader of the country, respected Dr. Farrukh Abdullah Ji, Member of Parliament Shriman Muzaffar Hussain Beg Ji and all the dignitaries present here and my dear brothers and sisters of Jammu & Kashmir.
Once again I have got the opportunity to come amongst you in Jammu & Kashmir. Your love and affection brings me here again and again. There will not be a single year in the last four years when I did not come here. When Diwali was celebrated in Srinagar after the floods, I had celebrated my Diwali here among the flood victims. In addition to this I got the opportunity to celebrate Diwali with the soldiers deployed on the border and today I am amongst you when it is the holy month of Ramzan. This month is the occasion of remembering Prophet Mohammad Saheb and his teachings. The teachings of equality and brotherhood from his life alone can take the country and the world forward in the true sense of word.
It’s also a happy coincidence that we had gathered here on fulfillment of a big dream in this holy month of Ramzan. Today, I got the good opportunity to dedicate Kishanganga Hydro Electric Project to the nation. After overcoming several hurdles this project is ready to add new dimensions in the developmental journey of Jammu & Kashmir. I congratulate all of you on this occasion. Not only will it provide free electricity to the state, but it will also provide free of cost electricity. At present, a big part of Jammu & Kashmir’s electricity requirement is being met by other parts of the country. With the start of this 330 megawatt electricity project, the problem of electricity shortage in the state will be solved to a great extent.
Brothers and sisters,
This project is a shining example of engineering skills. Several people have worked hard to complete this project. Water of Kishan Ganga river has been supplied to Bonar Nullah in Bandipora by digging a tunnel in the mountain. Every worker, every engineer, every employee of this project is especially praiseworthy. It was the result of your courage that we could complete this project.
Today, I also got the opportunity to lay the foundation stone for a ring road for Srinagar from this platform. More than 500 crore rupees will be spent on this 42 kilometer long road. This ring road will solve the problem of traffic jam in the interior areas of Sirnagar city to a great extent, it will make your life convenient.
And, the development of all three regions of the state – Kashmir, Jammu & Laddakh is also essential to bring about the change in the lives of people of Jammu & Kashmir. A package of Rs. 80,000 crore was approved while keeping this thing in the mind. I am glad that projects worth Rs. 63,000 crore have been sanctioned in such a short span of time and more than Rs. 20,000 crore have already been spent. The work of constructing an IIT and IIM in Jammu & Kashmir and the modernization of primary healthcare centres to district hospitals has also been going on with the help of this fund.
New national highways, all-weather roads, new tunnels, power transmission and distribution lines, conservation of rivers and lakes, schemes for farmers, cold storage, warehouses and new initiatives for providing employment to youth, several such new initiatives have been taken up. The work is being done on the priority basis to make the 21st century Jammu & Kashmir as per the expectations and aspirations of the people of this place.
Whenever I visit mountains I am always reminded of one proverb. Earlier it was said that the youth and water of a hilly area never come to its use. This proverb is of that time when modern technology was not so widespread and the man was powerless against the nature. Now the time has changed. We are determined to change this proverb with the help of you people. Both the water and youth of Jammu & Kashmir are going to be useful for this land.
There are several rivers in Jammu & Kashmir that have a lot of potential for hydro power. This is that part of the country that has the capacity to not only produce enough power for itself but for the country as well. We have been working on several projects in the last four years while keeping this thing in mind. Soon the work will start on a hydro power plant in Kishtwar at a cost of Rs. 8,000 crore.
Continuous efforts are being made to provide uninterrupted electricity to every household in Jammu & Kashmir. Advanced technologies like smart grid and smart meters are being used. Street Lights are being modernized. More than Rs. 4,000 crore is being spent to provide electricity from villages to towns of Jammu & Kashmir and to improve the electricity distribution system of the state.
Our aim is not to just supply electricity to villages and households but efforts are also being made to lessen the burden of electricity bill on those households where electricity has already been supplied. More than 78 lakh LED bulbs have been distributed in Jammu and Kashmir under the Ujala scheme. It has been saving more than Rs. 400 crore to the people of the state per year on account of electricity bulbs. The government is busy in providing electricity to every household in the state. Under the Saubhagya scheme, the work is going on to provide electricity to every such household where there was no electricity connection so far.
If there is anything called the biggest means of development of Jammu & Kashmir, if there is any such sector then it is tourism. We have observed this for decades that this sector which produces highest number of employment with the least investment, it has been the fortune maker for the state of Jammu & Kashmir. However, this sector no longer works on old method. Modern tourist wants facilities. He does not want to wait for hours to go from one place to another, he does not want to get stuck in the narrow lanes, he wants uninterrupted supply of electricity, he wants cleanliness and he wants good air service.
Our government has been moving forward with several schemes while keeping in the mind the requirements of a modern ecosystem required for tourism. The more powerful this system will become the more tourists will come to Jammu & Kashmir. Not only this, the youth of Jammu & Kashmir will also get new avenues for employment and your income will increase in the same proportion.
There are several regions in the world where the entire economy is focused on tourism - the economy of the entire country. Jammu & Kashmir alone has that capacity that it can further increase the rate of growth of economy of the country. If I talk about tourism alone then the work of developing 12 development authorities, 3 tourism circuits and 50 tourist villages is being done at an investment of Rs. 2,000 crore. However, as I have said earlier, it is extremely essential to strengthen not only tourism but also the entire eco system of tourism.
Connectivity is a big basis for ecosystem. And that is the reason that large scale efforts are made to improve the connectivity in Jammu & Kashmir. Almost half of the total package given to the state is being spent on road sector. A network of national highways is being laid in Jammu & Kashmir.
I have inaugurated the work on the country’s longest tunnel – Zojilla Tunnel – before coming here. This tunnel is going to write a new story of development of Jammu & Kashmir. Just imagine, if connectivity improves you can get rid of a lot of inconveniences such as if you are going for study, going to meet relatives or for treatment or for business or for sale and purchase of goods. We will be able to reduce the losses suffered by the farmers of this place to a great extent because of delay in transportation as your apples and vegetables become stale or useless due to delay in transportation.
Whether it is the ring road that is going to be constructed in Srinagar or be it Srinagar-Shopian-Kazigund national highway or be it Chengani-Sudh Mahadev-Goha Road, the completion of these projects will save your time and it will also reduce the losses of your resources. Those areas of the state which become unreachable during the snowfall, they are also being linked, a helicopter service is being provided for those areas. You people are also aware that the government is working to develop Srinagar and Jammu into smart cities.
Over Rs. 550 crore are being spent to improve water supply and sewage system in the cities. When there will be modern facilities, modern roads then it will not only improve your lives but it will also add a lot of value in the beauty of Jammu & Kashmir.
Brothers and sisters,
When we talk about making villages and cities ‘smart’ then cleanliness is an important part of this thing. I am happy to note that the people of Jammu & Kashmir has been taking forward this mission with all their might.
I have recently seen a video of a Kashmiri girl on social media. Five year old ‘Jannat’ was busy in cleaning the Dal lake. When the future of the country thinks in such a sacred and honest manner as a member of this mission I become even happier. Friends, there are several other people who have been doing several such things at their levels.
Brothers and sisters,
I am aware that the destruction caused by the massive flood in the state has fundamentally changed your lives. We have been making every effort to compensate for the losses incurred at various places. And for this purpose, regular help is being provided to the state government.
There is one more very serious issue on which the PDP-BJP coalition government and union government have been working jointly. This issue is of displaced people. Those who have come here from across the border because of the bad situation there, and also those who had to leave their homes due to local problems, nearly Rs. 3,500 crore are being spent on their rehabilitation at different places.
Today, the youth of Jammu & Kashmir are becoming role models for the youth of other states. When I see the names of the youth of the state in the list of civil services, when I meet them I become very happy. I remember that when a girl from Bandipora brought laurels for the country in kick-boxing the country felt immense pride. The country can’t allow to waste a talent like Tajamul. And this is the reason why the central government has been working jointly with the state government to shape the sporting talents of the state. And every effort is being made with the same spirit to develop sports related infrastructure in the state.
Brothers and sisters,
Serious efforts are made to provide the educational and employment opportunities to the youth of Jammu & Kashmir. Several schemes have been implemented in coordination with the state government. The work to train more than one lakh youth of the state is being underway under the Himayat scheme. More than 16,000 students have received benefit of Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme. They have been provided with the opportunity to complete their higher education in the top colleges and universities of the country. An offer of service has been made to nearly 60,000 students who had to leave the education midway due to different reasons.
New opportunities are created for the youth of the state so that they can become useful for the safety and security of the citizens of the state and the country. Five battalions of India Reserve force have been sanctioned to strengthen the police in Jammu & Kashmir. I have been told that the process of recruitment is in its last stage and after that five thousand youths of the state will be employed in the security sector.
Brothers and sisters, Safety and security of the country and its citizen is the biggest priority for our government. Our security forces are fully committed to discharge this duty. I would like to say to all of you, to Jammu & Kashmir police, paramilitary forces and Jawans of Indian army that you have been doing a wonderful job in the midst of a very difficult situation. You people deserve the credit for the kind of coordination and synergy you have. The contribution of the security forces for every resident of Jammu & Kashmir who was stuck in a difficult situation is immense, be it flood or storm or the calamities like fire. Every single image of the difficulties faced by them for the people of Jammu & Kashmir is imprinted on the minds of people of the country.
Brothers and sisters,
Today, 1.25 billion people of the country have been working to realise the pledge of making a New India. Jammu & Kashmir can become the most shining star of this New India. There is no reason why Jammu & Kashmir can’t have the best educational institutes of the country, best hospitals, best roads and most modern airport of the country. There is no reason why the children of the state cannot become good doctors, good engineers, good professors or good officers.
There are a lot of powers who do not want the development of Jammu & Kashmir, who do not want the happiness of the people of the state, however, friends, we need to move forward by giving a fitting reply to these foreign powers.
The coalition government of PDP-BJP working in the state under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti Ji and NDA government at the centre have regularly been working to bring those youths back in the mainstream who have been influenced by the foreign propaganda and have been assaulting their own holy land.
There is no alternative to peace and stability. I appeal to those youth who have gone astray that they should comeback in the mainstream. And this mainstream is their family and their parents. This main stream is there active contribution in the development of Jammu & Kashmir. Enhancing the prestige of Jammu & Kashmir is the responsibility of this young generation. There are so much means, so much resources, so much capability. There is no reason why Jammu & Kashmir should lag behind in comparison to other parts of India. Every single stone, every single weapon picked up by the misguided youths destabilises their own Jammu & Kashmir.
Now the state must get out of this atmosphere of instability. They will have to join the mainstream of development of India for the sake of their own future, and for the sake of their future generations. For thousands of years we lived as the children of motherland India. There is no power on earth that can drive a wedge between brothers. Those people who have been working towards that end for decades, now are on the verge of disintegration.
Brothers and sisters,
I would once again say this thing that last year I had celebrated Diwali in Gurez among Jawans and this year I am amongst you on the occasion of Ramzan. And this is the feeling of Kashmir, and this is the gift of this land and the world. Everybody is welcome here, everybody is respected here. This is the land of that tradition which is not present anywhere else in the world. This land has been enriched more by traditions rather than by different sects and communities. Atal Ji was a follower of this Kashmiriyat and so is Modi. And I had said this thing from the ramparts of the Red Fort:
Today’s problem is not going to be solved by use of abusive language or through bullets; this problem will be solved by embracing every Kashmiri.
Both the state and central governments have both policy and intention for the development of state of Jammu & Kashmir and we never lag behind in taking decisions. Whether it is the process of taking back the thousands of court cases from students or be it the ceasefire which has been announced in this holy month of Ramzan, the thinking behind these decision are that every youth, every person of Kashmir should get stability and development.
This is not just a ceasefire, this is also a means to expose those who spread terror in the name of Islam. I believe that people of Jammu & Kashmir can see this thing how efforts were made to keep them under illusion. The government has appointed an interlocutor to take forward this process of stability. He has been meeting the elected representatives of people and also with different institutions and bodies of the state. And I expect people to go and share their issues with him. He has been trying to strengthen the peace process by talking to everyone.
Brothers and sisters,
The government is not leaving any stone unturned for this thing. However, I appeal to all of you, to all the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir to maintain this alliance of democracy and Kashmiriyat; the biggest responsibility and the biggest role in this thing is of the parents of the state, of the youth of the state and of the intellectuals and religious leaders of the state.
Let all of us focus our entire energy only on one thing and that is development of Jammu & Kashmir. There is only one solution for all the problems, for all the disputes and differences and it is development and development alone.
I am confident that along with a New India, a New Jammu & Kashmir, a peaceful and prosperous Jammu & Kashmir will further strengthen the developmental story of India. And because of this confidence, I openly share my feelings with you people. I open my heart. And I tell the people of the world that all the countries of the world those who have followed this path (path of terrorism) they are regretting it today. Everybody is turning back. They are trying to find the ways to turn around. And that is why we have to take forward our legacy of this life of peace and tranquility, this life of brotherhood, the life of peace and prosperity and a happy and contented life. And the central government will not leave anything wanting, we will take every step wherever they are required and your support will be with us in this thing. We will be able to achieve our desired goals for which we have started our journey and once again the whole of Jammu & Kashmir will once again provide the opportunity to embrace everyone with love and affection as it has always done.
Isi Bhawana Ke Saath Setha-Setha Shukriya, Aj Diyu Ijazat, Khudai Thai Nav Khoshat Khush-hal.