UAE investments, grassroots democracy: Twin messages in PM Narendra Modi’s J&K visit
Apart from promoting industrial and infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Palli village in Samba district on Sunday – his first major trip since Article 370 was repealed in J&K in August 2019 – will send a powerful political message.
Top business leaders from the UAE will accompany the Prime Minister, highlighting the support of industrialists and investors from a leading Islamic bloc as the BJP government seeks to pitch a new phase for J&K post-Article 370.
Modi, who was dressed in a white kurta-pajama and a stole around his neck, also spoke with renowned local sculptor Ravinder Jamwal. He sculpted a six-foot-tall statue of the prime minister, which was unveiled at the event.
According to officials, the prime minister also posed for a photo with the sculptor in front of his work. He also visited various stalls set up by the Ministry of Science and Technology at a technology exhibition to encourage start-ups and raise awareness about the vast new avenues of livelihood, they said.
According to officials, the stalls set up by the ministry’s various departments and wings will display the latest technologies and innovations beneficial to rural areas and farming until Tuesday, who added that the stalls showcase integration.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister’s address from Samba, which borders Pakistan, coincides with National Panchayati Raj Day and will be attended by members of rural local bodies from across the state as a projection of grassroots democracy in the state.
According to sources, the UT administration has invited all 33,000 elected members of J&Okay’s rural native bodies to the Palli run, deploying special buses and reserving many of the accommodations in Udhampur, Katra, Jammu, Samba, and Kathua for their stay.
“Since the introduction of constitutional reforms about J&K in August 2019, the government has been focused on bringing about wide-ranging reforms to substantially improve governance and enhance ease of living for the people of the region at an unprecedented pace,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
The projects that are being inaugurated and the foundation stone which is being laid during this visit will go a long way toward facilitating the provision of basic amenities, ensuring ease of mobility, and the development of infrastructure in the region.”
He will inaugurate and lay the groundwork for development projects worth over Rs 20,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, including the opening of the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between the union territory’s two regions.
The Prime Minister will address the people of J&K as well as members of rural local bodies from across the country as part of the first-ever Panchayat Divas celebrations in the UT, which will also include a groundbreaking ceremony for industrial development proposals worth Rs 38,082 crore.
Top business leaders from the UAE will attend the event. This will demonstrate the support of industrialists from a significant Islamic country for India’s efforts to ensure overall development and peace in J&K following the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019.
The event aims to send a message about how the UT is “fast developing and transforming,” highlighting the “vibrancy of democracy at the grassroots” in the aftermath of the repeal of Article 370, which guaranteed special status to the erstwhile J&K state.
Modi is also scheduled to lay the foundation stones for the 850 MW Ratle and 540 MW Kwar hydel power projects over the Chenab river, as well as the foundation stones for three road packages of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, which will cost more than Rs 7,500 crore.
UAE firms are expected to propose investments totalling more than Rs 3,000 crore, a first for infrastructure development in J&K. The UAE has primarily remained neutral in the Kashmir dispute, opposing Pakistan’s efforts to draw the Islamic world into it.
The Valley will most likely be watching for cues from the event on Sunday.DP World, Emaar Properties, Lulu Group, Royal Strategic Partners, and WizzFinancial are among the many personal corporations expected. “Sure, all are coming,” Okay Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce Ranjan Prakash Thakur said, adding that tasks in infrastructure, IT, hospitality, and food processing are more likely to be introduced. According to Thakur, funding will most likely come from Qatar as well.
“It’s a historic turn because the Islamic world had previously avoided investments and maintained established order in J&Okay, owing to India and Pakistan’s staking claim over its areas,” said Okay B Jandial, a political analyst and ex-bureaucrat. He referred to it as a success of the Modi administration’s efforts to convey that their funding in J&K would be eliminated.
Industries and Commerce Ranjan Prakash Thakur said, adding that projects in infrastructure, IT, hospitality, and food processing are likely to be announced. Qatar is also expected to invest, according to Thakur.
“It is a historic turnaround because the Islamic world has previously avoided investments and maintained the status quo about J&K, despite both India and Pakistan claiming sovereignty over its areas,” said KB Jandial, a political analyst and ex-bureaucrat. He described it as a success of the Modi government’s efforts to convey that their investment in J&K will be fully protected and that everything is in order.
The cards will provide villagers with documentary proof of their property ownership, allowing them to use them for financial benefits if necessary. He will also transfer award money to panchayats who have won various awards.
The PMO stated that the ‘Amrit Sarovar’ project is part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations. According to sources, the UT administration has invited all 33,000 elected members of J&K’s rural local bodies to the Palli function, deploying special buses and booking the majority of hotels in Udhampur, Katra, Jammu, Samba, and Kathua for their stay.
Following the repeal of Article 370, the Prime Minister paid a brief visit to J&K to celebrate Diwali with the armed forces in the Nowshera district on November 4, 2021. This is his first visit since that time.
Edited by Prakriti Arora