‘Government working to develop all under-developed parts of country’

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project and laid the Foundation Stone of the Pakal Dul Power Project in Jammu & Kashmir on May 19. Shri R K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India was also present at the occasion.

Pakal Dul, with 1000 MW capacity, will be the largest Hydro Power Project in Jammu & Kashmir on completion. It is also the first storage Project in Jammu & Kashmir.

330 MW Kishanganga Hydro Electric Project, located in Bandipora District of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is a run of river scheme. All units of the project have been sychronised on 30.03.2018 and the annual generation of the main project is 1712.96 MU. The Project has been proposed to be completed at a cost of Rs. 5882 crore.

Kishangana H.E. Project will provide a free power of 13 per cent to the state, which will be around Rs. 133 crore per year. There are other benefits to the state like- Employment to the people of J&K, infrastructure development etc. It is estimated that the project engaged about 1850 local persons during construction stage and 750 local persons during operation stage through direct and indirect employment. The Project was handed over to NHPC for execution by the State Government after an MoU was signed between J&K Govt. and Ministry of Power, Govt of India in July 2000.

After laying the Foundation Stone of the Pakuldul project, the Prime Minister said it is a unique day when one hydropower project has been inaugurated; and the Foundation Stone has been laid for another one. He said that the Union Government is working with an approach of “isolation to integration” to develop all the hitherto under-developed parts of the country.

The project cost of Pakal Dul as per CCEA sanction is Rs. 8112.12 crore and it is supported by the Government of India as well as the Government of J&K. Timelines of implementation is 66 Months from the start of the Project. It shall be leading to additional Generation of 650 MU in downstream projects as it is a storage type project and shall improve the water availability during the lean season.

Pakal Dul project will have immense benefits for J&K. Around 3000 persons shall be employed directly/ indirectly during construction phase of the project. Further, around 500 persons shall be employed directly/indirectly during operation phase of the Project. It has been agreed that the Govt. of J&K shall be getting 12 per cent free power after 10 years of commissioning of the Project and water usage charges as applicable.

Additional 1 per cent free power will go towards Local Area Development Fund (LADF). Govt. of J&K has first right to purchase balance power of NHPC (49%) & PTC (2%). Furthermore, local population will be benefitted by the improvement and widening of roads and improvement of bridges under the Project.

The Prime Minister said that the policies and decisions of the Union Government are aimed at increasing the income of farmers.

While inaugurating Tarakote Marg he said that the Tarakote Marg would provide an alternative route to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, which would facilitate pilgrims. He said tourism, especially spiritual tourism, is a very important source of income generation for the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

PM attends convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Earlier, PM Shri Narendra Modi attended the Convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Jammu. He also inaugurated the Tarakote Marg and Material Ropeway, of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. In his address at the convocation, the Prime Minister said that technology is bringing about change in all spheres of life, and the youth of our country is keeping pace with these developments. He expressed confidence that through Scientific Approach, Technological Innovations, and Research and Development the graduating students would play an active role in turning agriculture into a profitable profession.

He said that even in agriculture, there is need to develop a new “culture” through infusion of technology, to benefit farmers.

PM unveils plaque to mark commencement of work on the Zojila Tunnel

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi in Leh on the first leg of a day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir on May 19 attended the Closing Ceremony of the Birth Centenary Celebration of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche. At the same event, he unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of work on the Zojila Tunnel.

The 14 km long Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, had approved the construction, operation and maintenance of this tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg, on the Srinagar-Leh section of NH-1A, at a total cost of Rs 6800 crore earlier this year.

The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. It will cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from the present three and a half hours, to just fifteen minutes. It will lead to all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. It also has immense strategic importance.

Addressing a large gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled the rich contribution of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche. His was a life dedicated to serving others, the Prime Minister said.

He added that the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche distinguished himself as an outstanding diplomat. He mentioned that during his visit to Mongolia, he had witnessed first-hand, the goodwill he has in that country.

Shri Narendra Modi expressed happiness that he is visiting the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir today.

He said the State of Jammu and Kashmir is going to get development projects worth Rs. 25,000 crore. These projects will have a positive impact on the people of the state, he added.