Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating Chenani-Nashri Tunnel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating Chenani-Nashri Tunnel

Udhampur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said that youth in Kashmir should choose between tourism and terrorism if they want to see Jammu and Kashmir among the top states in the country as well in the world.

“You have two paths to choose from which will decide your future: Tourism and terrorism,” Modi said in Udhampur after inaugurating Chenani-Nashri tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

“For 40 years, innocent have lost their lives. No one has benefitted from this. Only my loving Valley has bled. If someone has lost his life, only mother in my valley lost his dear son,” he said.

“The bloodshed has not benefited anyone after 40 years. But if tourism had been promoted in these 40 years, Kashmir would have been number one tourist destination in the world,” he said.

According to KNS Correspondent, Modi said that youth in Jammu and Kashmir should realise the power of a stone.

“On one side misguided youth are pelting stones and on the other side the youth of the same state are chiselling and drilling stones for development of the state,” he said.

About the tunnel, Modi said that the tunnel is a big leap for the development of the state and will connect it with the rest of the country.

He said that the tunnel will preserve the ecology of the Himalayan mountain and it will benefit farmers in Kashmir valley who can now sell and send their crops to the markets in Delhi and other states.

He said that due to closure of the Highway during winter, the farmers’ crop and hardwork would get waster as the crops would rot.

According to KNS Correspondent, while speaking about tourism, Modi said that the tunnel will bring more tourists from the country as earlier they people in other states were scared of visiting the Kashmir Valley due to bad roads.

“Now, there are no more troubles and worries about tourists. They can visit the valley without worrying about accidents,” he said.

He said that the opening of the tunnel means guaranteed tourism which will take Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the other states in development.

Assuring his support to the PDP-BJP government, Modi said that centre government is with Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are for promoting pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir, which will hold the state in its progress and development,” he said.

According to KNS Correspondent, Modi applauded the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and her government for “working hard to implement the 80,000 crore package on ground in the state”.

“I congratulate her government and her colleagues,” Modi said, adding that earlier packages remained on papers only and never saw light of the day.

Modi said that his government “will take Jammu and Kashmir to new heights of development”.

“No one will stop us from developing the state of Jammu and Kashmir.” Attacking Pakistan, Modi said that “those across the border are not able to handle themselves”. “We will show the citizens of our Kashmir across the border as to how Kashmir is developing and how those people who have occupied you have destroyed you. We will do it and show it,” he said.

“Development is our mantra. We will take youth along for development,” he said.

“We will develop the state on the mantra of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s kashmiriyat, Insaniyat, Jamhooriayat,” he said, adding that Vajpayee is being remembered in all the regions of the state.

He said that nine more tunnels will be developed in Jammu and Kashmir to connect it with the country and hearts of the people.

The 9-km long ‘Chenani–Nashri Tunnel’, built at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore, was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister here in presence of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

After the inauguration, Modi, along with Vohra and Mehbooba, travelled in an open jeep through the tunnel for some distance.

The Prime Minister, the Governor and the Chief Minister then posed for a photograph with the engineers who were involved in construction of the tunnel. (KNS)

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