Srinagar: Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah Wednesday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 240 development projects of about Rs 2,000 crore in Srinagar.
An official spokesman in a statement issued by Press Information Bureau here said that Shah also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of several development projects worth crores of rupees in Baramulla and addressed a public meeting in the region. Several dignitaries including Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Jitendra Singh were present on the occasion.
In his address, the Union Home Minister said that the hills of Pir Panjal and Chenab and this region of Kashmir were among the most beautiful areas of the world.
“The development ushered in Jammu and Kashmir in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reflected through the happy faces of the people in the region,” he said. “Earlier, three families who used to rule in the region hardly worked for the development of the region. PM Modi has completed a huge task of ensuring that democracy reaches every village of J&K. Earlier, the meaning of democracy in Kashmir was restricted to the three families, 87 MLAs, and 6 MPs, but after August 5, 2019, PM Modi has connected 30,000 people with democracy by taking it to the level of Panch, Sarpanch, BDC, and Zilla Panchayat of the village.”
Shah said that earlier, due to corruption, the money of the poor was being misused, but now, PM Modi was ensuring that the money of the poor reaches the poor.
He said that under the rule of three families, only Rs 15,000 crore investment came to J&K during 70 years, but under the leadership of PM Modi, an investment of Rs 56,000 crore had come in just three years.
The Home Minister said that earlier the region was a terrorist hotspot but now it had become a tourist hotspot.
“Earlier, a maximum of 6 lakh tourists used to visit Kashmir every year, whereas this year alone till now, 22 lakh tourists have visited the region, giving employment to thousands of youth, and this process will be further strengthened,” he said.
Shah said that earlier stones and guns were given in the hands of Kashmir youth, but now PM Modi had replaced them with mobiles and laptops and provided employment to the youth by setting up industries in the region.
He said that terrorism had not led to any good in the world.
“From 1990 till today, 42,000 people of J&K succumbed to terrorism,” the Home Minister said. “Now terrorism is slowly being weeded out.”
He said that now electricity had reached every village in Kashmir and PM Modi had ensured complete treatment up to Rs 5-lakh free of cost.
Shah said that 77 lakh people had been given health cards so that they do not have to spend a single penny for their treatment.
“Earlier there were one lakh people without a pucca house to live even in the icy winds in the region, but PM Modi has provided housing to these people in J&K from 2014 to 2022. The government under PM Modi has provided gas cylinders to about 12 lakh families, tap water in the homes of 58 percent people under the Jal Jeevan Mission and depositing Rs 6000 annually in the accounts of about 11.87 lakh farmers,” he said.
The Union Home Minister said that he wants to reach out to the Gujjars, Bakerwals, and Paharis of Baramulla, and the youth of Kashmir.
He said that the people of Kashmir should think with an open mind that no good was ever done by the people who spread terror in the region, and Kashmir should now move forward with all the states of the country.
“We should not go down the path of terrorism but that of development. It is the resolve of PM Modi that the youth of Kashmir should help develop the country, get jobs by educating themselves, and contribute to the development of the country by connecting with industries,” Shah said. “There are two models, one is PM Modi’s model of development, peace, harmony, and employment, and the other which leads to the Pulwama attack. PM Modi has constructed a hospital in Pulwama with an expenditure of Rs 2000 crore. The second model consists of stones and machine guns and closed colleges for the youth, while PM Modi’s model has IIMs and IITs.”
He said that youth should get the education and not have stones in their hands and PM Modi has taken stones from the hands of the youth and inspired them to educate themselves.
Shah said that the government has initiated the political process and he wants to assure the people that as soon as the task of preparing the electoral rolls by the Election Commission was over, elections would be held within Kashmir for the people with complete transparency.
“The elected representatives will rule in the region,” he said.
The Home Minister said that earlier the delimitation was done to benefit only the people of three families, but now as a result of the delimitation, the representatives of the people would win and rule. He said that PM Modi had ensured that Kashmir was now almost free from terror.
Shah advised people that if someone in their village supports terrorists, then they must be reasoned with and brought back into the mainstream because terror and terrorism cannot benefit Kashmir and only democracy, industrialisation, AIIMS, IIM, and IIT could benefit Kashmir.
He said that during the rule of three families, the budget of J&K was merely Rs 132 crore while in 2022-23, under the leadership of PM Modi the budget has increased from Rs 132 crore to Rs 1515 crore.
“Rs 10 crore have been allotted separately for DDC and PDC,” Shah said. “Five new degree colleges are also being opened in different areas of J&K and the work of setting up a residential school with a 100-bed capacity for Gujjar-Bakerwal girls of Baramulla has also been undertaken by the government under the leadership of PM Modi. A Government Medical College is also being set up in Baramulla, which will enable the children in the region to become doctors and help them serve the people of Kashmir.”
He said that only four medical colleges were built in J&K from 1947 to 2014, whereas from 2014 to 2022 under the leadership of PM Modi, the Government of India built nine new medical colleges and 15 nursing colleges.
“Whereas earlier only 500 doctors used to pass out of J&K now 1300 doctors will complete their studies and serve the country and J&K,” the Home Minister said. “AIIMS, NEET, BSc Nursing College, and two cancer institutes have also been set up in Kashmir. New medical colleges have been set up at Anantnag and Baramulla and two cluster universities have been built in J&K.”
He said that the expressway from Nangal to Baramulla and from Baramulla to Uri had been built at Rs 850 crore.
“A 43-km road has been built connecting Baramulla to Gulmarg at Rs 85 crore to help tourists travelling from Gulmarg to Baramulla,” Shah said. “Over one lakh families are being brought under the ambit of education through a scheme of Rs 847 crore. Two stadiums have been built in 402 panchayats of J&K along with one playground in each panchayat. Additionally, two indoor stadiums are also being built at Rs 10 crore.”
He said that in September this year, 13 lakh tourists visited Gulmarg.
The Home Minister said that the installation of power plants and irrigation projects worth thousands of crores of rupees would bring prosperity to Kashmir.
“To improve the rail network, the work on the rail link from Udhampur to Baramulla has been initiated. Under the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana, 119 new roads worth Rs 3167 crore have been built,” he said.
Shah said that under the PM's Industrial Package, an investment of Rs 56,000 crore had come from across the country in Kashmir, which was likely to employ 5 lakh people.
He said that earlier due to Article 370, Gujjar-Bakerwal, and Pahari people could not get the benefit of reservation in education, elections, and jobs, but now after its removal, they would all get the benefits. “For this, PM Modi constituted the Justice Sharma Commission, and once again an attempt has been made to connect the different communities by conducting a scientific survey of ST, SC, and OBC. While reservation will now be provided to the Pahari people, the Gujjar people will continue to enjoy the benefits of the reservation that they had till now, and it will not make any difference to their share. The steps taken by the PM will pave the way for reforms in J&K,” the Home Minister said.
He said that 42,000 people had been killed in J&K, and all of them were children of the poor.
Shah said that Prime Minister Modi wants that separatism and terrorism in J&K should end and J&K should remain the paradise of India.
The Union Home Minister appealed to the people to annihilate terrorism from J&K.
He said that the government under the leadership of PM Modi would not tolerate terrorism at all.
“Be it Kashmir or Jammu, Srinagar or Baramulla, under the leadership of PM Modi, the government is bringing all-round development work everywhere,” Shah said and appealed to the people to join the mainstream of the country and empower the process of development and move forward.