Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kickstart his one-day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday during which he will lay the foundation for the prestigious Zojila tunnel, that will provide all-weather connectivity between Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley and lay foundation stones for other projects in the state.
The prime minister's visit to the state comes two days after the Centre asked the security forces to halt their operations during Ramadan following Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's call for a ceasefire. Tight security measures are in place for Modi's visit to the three regions of the state.
After attending the closing ceremony of the birth centenary celebration of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche in Leh, Modi will unveil a plaque to mark the commencement of work on the Zojila tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway.
This will be India's longest road tunnel and Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel. The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh. It will cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from the present three and half hours to just 15 minutes. The construction of the Zojila tunnel was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Modi at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore earlier in January this year.
Planned as a smart tunnel, Zojila will have the latest safety features like fully transverse ventilation system, uninterrupted power supply, emergency lighting, CCTV monitoring, variable message signs, traffic logging equipment and tunnel radio system.
It will also have emergency telephones and fire-fighting cabinets at every 125 meters along pedestrian cross passages at every 250 meters and motorable cross passages and lay-bys at every 750 meters.
The Prime Minister will dedicate the 330 Megawatt Kishanganga Hydropower project to the nation, at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. He will also lay the foundation stone of the Srinagar Ring Road.
Modi would lay the foundation stone of the Pakul Dul Power Project and the Jammu Ring Road. He will also inaugurate Tarakote Marg and Material Ropeway of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, it said.
Tarakote Marg will facilitate pilgrims visiting the shrine. Ring roads in Srinagar and Jammu are aimed at reducing traffic congestion and making road travel safer, faster, more convenient and more environment friendly.
The Prime Minister will also attend the Convocation of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu.
Security has been beefed up ahead of Modi's visit, and the entry and exit points in Srinagar and Jammu have been sealed by the police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), with vehicles being allowed after thorough checking.
Makeshift barricades and mobile bunkers have been put up to regulate traffic to ensure that no unauthorized movement is allowed during the visit.
Here are the complete details of the Prime Minister's itinerary:
# 10:00 am- The Prime Minister will arrive in Leh to attend the closing ceremony of the Birth Centenary Celebrations of 19th Kushok bakula Rinpoche. He will then lay the foundation for the commencement of the Zojila tunnel project.
# 13:00 pm- The Prime Minister will dedicate the Kishanganga Hydropower project to the nation in Srinagar
# 15:45 pm- PM Modi will attend the convocation of Sher e Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Jammu
# 17:05 pm- He will lay the foundation of Infra Projects in Jammu
(With agency inputs)