Modi to make Kashmir a tourist place again and integrate it with India

Rs 80,000 crore aid announced for all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir

GN Bureau | November 7, 2015



Alluding to the middle class people’s dream of visiting Kashmir once in their life time, prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to make the state a dream destination again and announced a package of Rs 80,000 crore for all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said this is just the beginning. "Don't think Rs 80,000-crore package is the limit. This is just the beginning. There won't be any dearth of money. Not only our treasury, but our heart also beats for you," Modi said to a thunderous applause in Srinagar's Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium.

Visiting the Srinagar for the first time since the PDP-BJP coalition took power in the state on March 1 this year, Modi said that he wanted to make Kashmir a dream destination for tourists.

"In the past, when people had some money, they wanted to visit Kashmir. I want to bring back those glorious days. I want to bring back those days when rest of India used to look forward to come and visit Kashmir,” the prime minister promised.

He also emphasized Kashmir's role in Indian cricket. "Sachin, Sehwag or Dhoni, whoever hit a six, they did it with a Made-in-Kashmir bat," Modi said.

A special aircraft carrying the Prime Minister landed at Srinagar International Airport around 11.20am.

Modi was flown in an Army helicopter to the Badami Bagh Cantonment helipad from where he reached the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in a special cavalcade.

Governor NN Vohra, chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, senior ministers of the ruling PDP-BJP government, senior civil and army officers received Modi at the airport.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari is accompanying Modi, while minister of state PMO Jitendra Singh, who arrived here on Friday, was among those who received Modi at the airport.

 Unprecedented security arrangements were seen in Srinagar city on Saturday as police personnel and paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) troopers wearing bullet proof vests and holding automatic weapons took up positions along roads and at important installations. This was Modi's first visit to the state since the PDP-BJP alliance formed government.

Some points made by the prime minister at the rally:

Solution to every problem of ours is in providing employment to the youth.

Jamhooriat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, these are important.

Without Kashmiriyat, Hindustan is incomplete.

Some people said that India would never catch up with China. But today, they say India is not only catching up but leading China.

Kashmir has suffered a lot over the years, generations have seen their dreams being crushed.

I have seen in my life no matter how big the challenges are, they can be overcome.

Our Mantra is 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas', and that is why I want every corner of the country to be with us.

It’s this sanskar (culture) that inspires me and gives me strength to care for you.

My mother used to give me Rs 5 or Rs 11 on my birthday, but last year she gave me Rs 5000 for the flood-affected people of Kashmir.

When Diwali came last year, it would have been easy for me to celebrate with friends in Delhi, but I decided to come to J&K.

* When this land experienced pain, I would also experience pain & I came here, we worked with the then state government.

I have got the privilege to visit Jammu and Kashmir so often. This land draws me here.

During the day-long visit, he inaugurated the 450 MW Baglihar Hydro Electric Project Stage-II, and lay the foundation stone for the four-laning of the Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal section of National Highway 44, at a function in Chanderkote, Ramban.

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