[stextbox id=”info”]He also stressed the need to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits[/stextbox]
Srinagar: Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went at lengths to explain to a crowd of a village in Jammu & Kashmir the need for development in the region and what the Centre and the State governments are doing about it. He was addressing a public gathering in Chanderkote, Ramban, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking about his visit to Srinagar, the prime minister said, “Over a long time, we have been told that power, water and roads are the pre-requisites for development. Upgrade of these three basic facilities strengthens the society to scale new heights of development.”
Ignoring the separatist sentiment in a section of the Kashmiri population, Modi dealt also with the global issue of climate change. “Today the whole world is deeply concerned about global warming and climate change and how to bring down the rising temperature? How to protect the glaciers and the rivers? How do we save the nature?” he asked.
And then he linked it to power generation. “India has set a huge target of generating 175 Gigawatt of renewal energy. In our country, we used to thinks in terms of megawatt and Gigawatt was not heard of. Today this government is moving towards generation 175 Gigawatt of solar and wind energy demonstrating our eco-friendly approach and opening new avenues of growth through electricity,” the prime minister said, reiterating a point BJP president Amit Shah and he make in almost all their addresses, “Our vision is to provide round the clock electricity to every village by 2022 when India celebrates 75th year of its independence. To keep up the momentum, I myself monitor this task regularly. A few days back, in a meeting, I asked how many villages of the country are still without even an electric pole? We came to know that even after 75 years of independence there are 18,000 villages in the country without electricity. What can be more unfortunate?”
“Therefore,” he said, “we have taken up a task to electrify these 18 thousand villages in 1000 days; a task that remained incomplete since last 70 years.”
PM Modi's speech at the launch of the hydroelectric power project and a highway project in Jammu & Kashmir
Then Modi dealt with the question as to why the villages that are being claimed to have been electrified are still languishing in the dark. He said, “Our second vision is round the clock electricity for 365 days.”
Then he turned Keynesian, which has been the NDA government’s economic policy in the absence of large-scale private investment: pumping government money into the economy to get it running. “Today, in Srinagar I’ve announced a package of Rs. 80,000 crore for the all-round development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions,” the prime minister said.
Modi went on to repeat the importance of the other pet projects of his government like distribution of LED lights, Swachh Bharat and road connectivity.
Finally, the prime minister touched a raw nerve, dwelling upon the refugee status of Kashmiri Pandits along with that of the migrants of 1947. “Perhaps, no other state of the country has suffered such a huge crisis as Jammu and Kashmir. Lakhs of refugees are living here since 1947, comprising nearly 15 to 20% population of the state. This is not a small pain but the subject of a huge distress. It is the need of the hour to ensure that whether 1947 refugees or displaced Kashmiri Pandits, they are rehabilitated with honour and dignity.”
Modi then reminded the State government that the Centre’s package of Rs 80,000 crore had the provision for the rehabilitation of displaced families since 1947.
He then urged the youth of Jammu & Kashmir to take ample advantage of schemes like Start-Up India and Stand-Up India to enrich and empower themselves and join the mainstream of the national economy.