Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation of multiple development initiatives worth around Rs. 20,000 Crore in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday April 24.
Modi is arriving here to attend the Panchayat Raj Diwas at Palli Gram Panchayat in Samba District.
This is the Prime Minister’s first visit to J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh and MoS in the same Ministry Kapil Moreshwar Patil reached Jammu on Saturday.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh is camping in Jammu, supervising and monitoring arrangements for the Prime Minister’s rally.
Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has been holding regular meetings for Modi’s historic visit to Palli Panchayat.
The developmental projects being inaugurated include the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the two regions of the Union Territory.
The 8.45 Km long tunnel will reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 Kms and reduce the journey time by around one and a half hours.
It is a twin tube tunnel, one for each direction of travel, and the tubes are interconnected by a cross passage every 500 m for maintenance and emergency evacuation.
The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of three road packages of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs. 7,500 Crore.
Seeking to develop and rejuvenate 75 water bodies in every district of the country, the Prime Minister will launch a new initiative named ‘Amrit Sarovar’.
Among other projects, Modi will lay the foundation stone of Rattle and Kwar hydroelectric projects, a 850 MW facility to be constructed on Chenab river in Kishtwar at a cost of around Rs. 5,300 Crore, and 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric project to be build in on the same river at a cost of over Rs. 4,500 Crore.
In order to further expand the network of ‘Jan Aushadi Kendras’ in Jammu and Kashmir, and to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available, 100 centres will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. These centres are located in remote corners of the Union Territory.
Modi will also inaugurate a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, which will make it the country’s first Panchayat to become carbon neutral.
During his visit, he will also hand over ‘SVAMITVA’ (survey of villages and mapping with improvised technology in village areas) cards to beneficiaries under the scheme. The cards will give villagers documentary proof of their ownership of properties so that they can use them for financial benefits if required.
He will also transfer award money to Panchayats which are winners of awards given across different categories.
Modi will directly transfer an amount of Rs. 44.70 Crore as prize money ranging from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh to the bank account of 322 awardee Panchayats across 31 states/UTs in the country digitally during the function at Palli Gram Panchayat.
The e-Panchayat Puraskar is conferred upon those states which have ensured maximum use of Information Technology for monitoring the works of Panchayats.
The Central Government has requested all states/union territories to confer awards and plaques to concerned awardees of National Panchayat Awards 2022 on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day by in-charge Ministers of the districts, Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), senior Administrative Officers, eminent personalities, etc., who may also be requested to attend Gram Sabha in any one Gram Panchayat.
National Panchayati Raj Day will serve as an important occasion as well as a significant step towards creating awareness and building momentum for India@2047 and also building institutional, individual, institutional, cross-organisational and operational capabilities for achieving the global SDGs agenda in local context by 2030.
Seventeen SDGs are subsumed under nine broad themes, and one or more such themes will be adopted as Sankalp by Gram Panchayats in specially convened Gram Sabhas on April 24.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has requested all Gram Panchayats to organise Special Gram Sabha meetings across the country to mark the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day.
April 24 is observed by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj as National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) every year to celebrate the Constitutional status accorded to Panchayati Raj system in the country. This occasion provides an opportunity for direct dialogue with Panchayat representatives from all over the country as well as recognizing their achievements to empower and motivate them.
The objective of celebrating the National Panchayati Raj Day is to increase awareness about Panchayats and Gram Sabhas, the institutions of the local self-Governments for the rural areas mandated by the Constitution, and also about their roles, responsibilities, achievements, concerns, resolutions, etc.. States and union territories are requested to celebrate the day in a befitting manner and call upon Panchayati Raj Institutions/ Rural Local Bodies to celebrate National Panchayati Raj Day with a ‘whole of society’ approach ensuring maximum possible ‘Jan Bhagidari’. National Panchayat Awards are also conferred to well-performing Panchayats on this occasion.
By Sheikh Qayoom