This is the inauguration of the longest tunnel in India. I have done the rituals, but I want all the citizens present here today to inaugurate this tunnel and I’ll tell you the way to inaugurate. All you have to do is take out your mobile phones, simultaneously turn on the flash on your mobile phones and with the chant of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, see all the photographers taking your photo now!
Whoever has got a mobile phone take it out. Everyone will flash your mobile. What a wonderful sight! I am looking at a wonderful sight in front of me and in a true sense, this tunnel has been inaugurated by the flash of your mobile. The whole of India is watching.
Long live Mother India. Long live Mother India.
Brothers, sisters, the holy festival of Navratri is ongoing. I have been given this opportunity to come at the feet of the mother, this is good fortune for me.
Right now, Nitin Gadkari was telling us that this tunnel has been constructed in accordance with world standards. He said, in some respects, we are one step ahead of the world's standards. My heartfelt congratulations to Nitin Gadkari and his department’s team. He has succeeded in fulfilling this task in a time-bound manner using modern technology. But brothers, sisters, this is not just a long tunnel. This is not only the long tunnel to reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar. This long tunnel is a long leap of development for Jammu and Kashmir, I see that clearly.
Brothers, sisters, this tunnel will be discussed not only in India, but I believe that the world's environmentalists who are concerned about climate change, global warming and discuss it, the construction of this tunnel is a big news for them, a big new hope. If the tunnel was constructed in any other corner of India, environmentalists were less likely to pay attention.
But by building these tunnels in the heart of the Himalayas', we have also protected the Himalayas, we have worked to protect the environment. To the world troubled by global warming, India has sent a message: By constructing this tunnel in the heart of Himalayas, an important effort to safeguard the Himalayas has been successfully completed by the Government of India.
Brothers and sisters, this tunnel is made at the cost of thousands of crores. But today, I proudly say that though the Government of India spent money for the construction of this tunnel, I am happy that in the construction of this tunnel the sweat of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir along with the expenditure of the government is involved.
More than two and a half thousand youth, 90 percent of Jammu and Kashmir's jawans have been involved in constructing this tunnel. We can imagine how many employment opportunities were generated.
Brothers and sisters, the youth of Jammu and Kashmir youth cut these stones and made the tunnel, working hard for more than a thousand days, they kept cutting stones and building the tunnel. I want to tell the youth of the Valley, what is the power of stone; on one side, some young men who have been led astray are engaged in stone pelting while on the other hand, the young men of Kashmir are engaged in cutting stone and building the future of Kashmir.
Brothers, sisters, these tunnels are about to play a historic role in creating a new tourism in the Valley. Travelers get disturbed by the news of tourist inconveniences. If there is snowfall in Patnitop or for 5 days roads get blocked and the tourist gets stuck, they do not dare to visit again.
But brothers, sisters, now because of this tunnel, people who want to come from the corners of the country as travelers in the Valley will not face these crises, they will be able to reach Srinagar directly.
I want to say to the people of the Valley, this tunnel may be between Udhampur-Ramban, but this holds the fate of the Valley; do not ever forget this.
This is the determinant of fortune of the Valley, because my brother, the farmer, sweats night and day, braves natural disasters, works in fields and gardens.
If the rains and the weather has been as per the requirement, the crop is very good, the fruits are ready for sale in the Delhi market, but if the roads are blocked for five days in the same place, more than half the fruit is ruined. Before arriving in Delhi, their hard-earned money gets wasted.
For the farmers of the Valley, this tunnel has come as a boon. When he will able to get his crop, his fruits, his flowers, his vegetables to the markets in Delhi at the appointed time, he won't face any losses. All who live in the Valley will have access to these benefits now.
Brothers and sisters, every citizen of India has a dream to someday see Kashmir. They want to travel in the valleys of Kashmir. And the development of infrastructure that we have taken up because of which the convenience to visiting tourists from the various corners of India is going to increase. It is going to guarantee tourism. And the more the tourism will grow, more the previous economic condition of Jammu and Kashmir will be left behind in favour of growth. This is my faith.
Brothers, sisters, I want to say to the young people of the Valley that there are two ways which will determine your destiny. One side is tourism, on the other hand is terrorism. Forty years have passed in which many innocent people lost their lives.
Brothers, sisters, this game of blood has not done anyone any good even after 40 years. But in these 40 years, if the emphasis was on tourism, then today the whole world would be in the Valley, that is the strength that lies in Kashmir. And so we recognize the power of tourism, to create the mechanisms to strengthen tourism. The Centre is with Jammu and Kashmir. Standing with you to promote visits.
I congratulate Mehbooba ji in particular. Last year, the Government of India declared a package of Rs 80,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, I am happy that in such a little time more than half the budget has been spent.
The expenditure of the package has been employed on the ground and this is not a small issue. Otherwise, packages remain on the paper, the implementation on the ground takes years and years of time. But by paying attention to every detail, Mehbooba ji and her government have worked hard to bring things on the ground, the fruits of which are clearly visible. I congratulate government of Jammu and Kashmir, the chief minister, and the council of ministers with all my heart.
Brothers, sisters, per capita income in India today, if there is a state best suited to increase income, then the name of that state is Jammu and Kashmir. I understand its strengths very well. I have had the opportunity to come and work and live in these valleys for many years. I know the great people here. I know the culture of Sufi tradition here.
Brothers, sisters, this precious heritage, if we forget it we will lose our present and we will push our future into darkness. These lands have guided the whole of India for thousands of years, this is the land of such great heritage. Connect yourself with it, glorify it and with diligence let us move forward by joining our shoulders with that of the government. With time, the situation of Jammu and Kashmir will change.
Brothers, sisters, whenever it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, in the hearts of every Kashmiri, Jammuwasi and Ladhakhwasi there is always the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Kashmiriyat, humanity, mobility — by taking this mantra, which was given by Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji; by taking on the same mantra we will take Kashmir to new heights of development.
With the atmosphere of goodwill, with the atmosphere of brotherhood, for the bright future of the youth, with strong intentions, we are determined to move forward by taking one step after another. No obstacles will be able to prevent us. And those who sit on the border can handle themselves.
Brothers, sisters, we want to show the progress of the Kashmir to people across the border, show them how Kashmir develops. And those people who taken control of you, we are going to show you how much have they have ruined you. Development is our mantra. People's participation is our way, we want to walk on that path. We want to take the younger generation along with us and make a future.
Brothers, sisters, now if one tunnel can change the lives of farmers in the Valley, promote tourism in the Valley, there are plans to make such nine tunnels in future. Nine! Such a connection with the whole of India will happen. This will not be the network of pathways only, it is going to be a network of hearts, that is my belief.
Brothers, sisters, we carry forward the journey of development. Youth of Jammu and Kashmir take advantage of the employment plans of the Government of India to change the fate of this place.
Take advantage of the new areas of education that are available here. Cross the new heights of development. And my brothers in Jammu, the Jammu region is also developing at a fast pace.
Talk about the direction of Smart City, be it HRIDAY scheme, AMRUT scheme, talk about the field of education, the infrastructure, the reconstruction of the pond here, in every area; whether it is Ladakh, Valley or Jammu, there is a balanced development.
And the benefit of this development will be met by the future generations of Jammu and Kashmir. Let's prepare for it. Let’s take Jammu and Kashmir forward. Let’s take these dreams ahead.
Once again I heartily congratulate Nitin ji, his team, Dr Jitender Singh ji, and the government of Jammu and Kashmir.
Thank you very much.
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2017 15:56 PM