Stage set for Modi’s `Mission Kashmir’; PM to launch Rs 5000 crore worth projects

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Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil multiple development projects and address a public meeting in Srinagar on Thursday.

It will be PM’s first visit to Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

According to an official statement, Modi will attend the “Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu Kashmir” program at Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium and inaugurate initiatives worth nearly Rs 5,000 crore for boosting the agri-economy in the Union Territory.

The statement said Modi will launch nationwide projects related to the tourism sector worth more than Rs 1,400 crore under the “Swadesh Darshan” and “PRASHAD” (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) schemes, including a project for the integrated development of the Hazratbal ne in Srinagar.

He will launch the “Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice Tourist Destination Poll” and the “Chalo India Global Diaspora” campaign as well, besides announcing tourist destinations selected under the Challenge-Based Destination Development (CBDD) scheme.

The statement said Modi will distribute appointment letters to nearly 1,000 newly recruited government employees in Jammu and Kashmir and also interact with the beneficiaries of various central schemes, including women achievers, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

In a step that will provide a major boost to the agri-economy of the region under the “Holistic Agriculture Development Programme” (HADP) to be launched by the prime minister, the statement said it will cover the full spectrum of activities in three major domains of horticulture, agriculture and livestock husbandry.

The program is expected to equip about 2.5 lakh farmers with skill-development training and about 2,000 farmers’ service centers will be established and robust value chains put in place for the welfare of the farming community.

The tourism projects to be launched by Modi are in line with his vision to improve the overall experience of tourists and pilgrims visiting prominent pilgrimage and tourism sites across the country by building world-class infrastructure and amenities at these sites.

Besides the Hazratbal project, the initiatives include tourism facilities in the Northeast Circuit in Meghalaya, the Spiritual Circuit in Bihar and Rajasthan, the Rural and Tirthankar Circuit in Bihar, and some other projects in states such as Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.

The prime minister will also launch 43 projects that will develop a wide range of pilgrimage and tourist sites across the country.

He will also launch the first-ever countrywide initiative to identify the pulse of the nation on tourism in the form of “Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice 2024”, the statement said.

The “Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign” aims to inspire the Indian diaspora to become Incredible India ambassadors and promote tourism in India.

“The campaign is being launched based on the clarion call of the Prime Minister, wherein he requested Indian diaspora members to encourage at least five non-Indian friends to travel to India. With more than three crore overseas Indians, the Indian diaspora can serve as a powerful catalyst for Indian tourism, acting as cultural ambassadors,” the statement said.

Prime Minister’s vision is to improve the overall experience of tourists and pilgrims visiting prominent pilgrimage and tourism sites nationwide by building world-class infrastructure and amenities at these sites. In line with this, the Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation and launch multiple initiatives under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes worth more than Rs 1400 crore.

The projects to be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister include development of ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal ne’ in Srinagar, J&K; tourism facilities developed in Northeast circuit in Meghalaya; Spiritual Circuit in Bihar and Rajasthan; Rural and Tirthankar Circuit in Bihar; development of Jogulamba Devi Temple, Jogulamba Gadwal District, Telangana; and development of Amarkantak Temple, Annupur District, Madhya Pradesh.

To create world-class infrastructure and amenities for pilgrims and tourists visiting the Hazratbal ne, and to enhance their holistic spiritual experience, the project ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal ne’ has been executed. The key components of the project include site development of the entire area including the construction of the boundary wall; Illumination of Hazratbal Precinct; Improvement of Ghats and Devri Paths around the ne; Construction of the Sufi interpretation center; Construction of Tourist Facilitation Centre; Installation of Signages; Multilevel Storied Car parking; Construction of Public Convenience Block and entrance Gateway of the ne; among others.

Prime Minister will also launch about 43 projects that will develop a wide range of pilgrimage and tourist sites across the country. These include important religious sites like the Annavaram Temple in Kakinada district of Andhra Pradesh; Navagraha Temples in Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai District of Tamilnadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry; Sri Chamundeshwari Devi Temple, Mysore District, Karnataka; Karni Mata Mandir, Bikaner District Rajasthan; Maa Chintpurni Temple, Una District, Himachal Pradesh; Basilica of Bom Jesus Church, Goa, among others. The projects also include development of various other sites and experience centers like Mechuka Adventure Park in Arunachal Pradesh; Rural Tourism Cluster Experience at Gunji, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand; Ecotourism zone at Ananthagiri forest, Ananathagiri, Telangana; Meghalayan Age Cave Experience and Waterfall Trails Experience at Sohra, Meghalaya;  Reimagining Cinnamara Tea Estate, Jorhat, Assam; Ecotourism experience at Kanjli Wetland, Kapurthala, Punjab; Julley Leh Biodiversity Park, Leh, among others.

During the program, the Prime Minister will announce 42 tourist destinations selected under the Challenge Based Destination Development (CBDD) Scheme. The innovative scheme, announced during Union Budget 2023-24, aims to provide end-to-end tourist experiences by catalyzing the development of tourist destinations while also promoting sustainability and ushering competitiveness in the tourism sector. The 42  destinations have been identified in four categories (16 in Culture & Heritage Destination;  11 in spiritual destinations; 10 in Ecotourism and Amrit Dharohar; and 5 in Vibrant  Village).