`Banihal tunnel’ to `Jan Aushadi Kendras’: PM Modi to inaugurate development projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in J&K

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Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of development projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. He will also dedicate Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel to the nation.

In a statement, PMO said Modi will participate in the National Panchayati Raj Day celebration and address all Gram Sabhas of the country. He will visit Palli Panchayat in the Samba district.

Prime Minister will inaugurate the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, built at a cost of over Rs 3100 crore. The 8.45 Km long tunnel would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km, and reduce journey time by around one and a half hours. It is a twin-tube tunnel – one for each direction of travel – with the twin tubes being interconnected by a cross passage every 500m, for maintenance and emergency evacuation. The tunnel would help establish an all-weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir and bring the two regions closer.

Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs. 7500 crore. They are for the construction of a 4/6 lane access controlled Delhi-Katra-Amritsar Expressway from Balsua on NH-44 to Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar;  Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar to Jakh, Vijaypur; and Jakh, Vijaypur to Kunjwani, Jammu with spur connectivity to Jammu Airport.

Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of the Ratle and Kwar Hydroelectric projects. The 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project will be constructed on the Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore. The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on the Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs. 4500 crore. Both the projects will help meet the power requirements of the region.

To further expand the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras in J&K and to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available, 100 Kendras have been made functional and will be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister. These Kendras are located in the remote corners of the UT.  He will also inaugurate a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, which will make it the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral.

Prime Minister will hand over SVAMITVA cards to beneficiaries under the scheme. He will also transfer award money to Panchayats which are winners of awards given across different categories on National Panchayati Raj Day for their achievements. Prime Minister will also visit the INTACH photo gallery which depicts the rural heritage of the region, and Nokia Smartpur, a rural entrepreneurship-based model designed to create ideal smart villages in India.

Amrit Sarovar

To ensure the rejuvenation of water bodies, during the visit to J&K, the Prime Minister will also launch a new initiative named Amrit Sarovar. It is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country. It is yet another ode of the government towards the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.