NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today championed the newly-inaugurated Chenani-Nashri tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir+ as a symbol of development which will ensure the progress of the state in social and economic spheres.
“This is not merely a long tunnel. It is a giant leap in terms of development and progress for the people of Jammu and Kashmir+ ,” PM Modi said at a public meeting in Udhampur.
Calling the 9.2-km long all-weather tunnel+ as “world class” and matching global standards, PM Modi advocated the environment-friendly aspects of the Chenani-Nashri tube. He said every attempt to preserve the environment and the Himalayas was made while building the tunnel.
He also praised those involved in the tunnel’s construction, particularly the Kashmiri youths who toiled in realising the multi-crore project.
“Youth of Jammu and Kashmir worked very hard in the making of the Chenani-Nashri tunnel. I congratulate them for this. The money for this tunnel came from the government of India. But there is also the scent of sweat of Jammu and Kashmir’s youth in this tunnel,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister then took a serious view of the reports of stone pelting by Kashmiri youths and told them that they had two paths open to them – one of tourism and the other of terrorism.
“On one hand, some misguided youngsters are pelting stones. On the other hand, hardworking Kashmiri youth are using the same stones for nation-building. The path of bloodshed has not helped any one and will never help anyone,” PM Modi said.
He added that the tunnel will boost tourism in the state, which had come to a virtual standstill due to the recent increase in extremism in the Kashmir Valley.
“Another advantage of this tunnel is that tourists will benefit due to this. Every Indian wants to see Jammu and Kashmir. The beauty of this land can draw so many people. Tourism will also bring economic growth,” he vouched.
The Prime Minister said that as history is witness, unrest in the state is detrimental to its development.