Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday dedicated to the nation multiple development projects worth more than ₹6,400 crore at the ‘Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu Kashmir’ programme here during his first visit to the Kashmir valley after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

The projects included holistic agriculture development program worth about ₹5,000 crore and multiple projects related to the tourism sector worth more than ₹1,400 crore under ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASHAD’ scheme including the project for ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’, Srinagar, officials said.

The prime minister also launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice Tourist Destination Poll’ and ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’, and announced tourist destinations selected under Challenge Based Destination Development (CBDD) Scheme, they said.

He also distributed appointment orders to about 1,000 new government recruits of Jammu and Kashmir and interacted with the beneficiaries of various government schemes including women achievers, lakhpati didis, farmers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The prime minister mentioned schemes for the welfare of the poor that could not be availed by the deprived.

Highlighting the change of fortunes, the he said schemes for the entire nation have been launched on Thursday from here and Jammu and Kashmir is leading the way for tourism in the country.

Therefore, the prime minister said, people from more than 50 places in India have joined the occasion.

He touched upon the six projects that were dedicated to the nation under ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme as well as the initiation of its next phase.

Modi said that around 30 projects have been launched for various cities in the country including Srinagar while three projects have been inaugurated and 14 others launched under PRASHAD scheme.

He stated the development works being carried out in the holy Hazratbal Dargah for the convenience of the people have also been completed.

The prime minister further said about the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice’ campaign where 40 places have been identified by the government to be developed as tourist destinations in the next two years.

Under the campaign, the government would develop the most preferred tourist destinations based on public opinion.

Modi mentioned the ‘Chalo India’ campaign to encourage NRIs to come to India. Congratulating the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir for the development works, he said it will help develop the tourism industry of the region and creating new employment opportunities.

Saying there was rapid pace of development in Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister mentioned the establishment of two AIIMS in the UT.

He talked about seven new medical colleges, two cancer hospitals and institutes like IIT and IIM in the region.

The PM said two Vande Bharat trains are running in Jammu and Kashmir and rail services from Srinagar to Sangaldan and from Sangaldan to Baramulla have started.

This expansion of connectivity has given a push to economic activities, he added.

Referring to new projects to make Jammu and Srinagar as smart cities, the prime minister said, “In the coming times, the success story of Jammu and Kashmir will become an example for the whole world.”

(With Agency Inputs)