Srinagar, May 18 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday during which he will lay the foundation for Zojila tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway besides launching several other development projects.
Modi’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.
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.
It will lead to all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions, besides having immense strategic importance.
The Prime Minister will dedicate the 330mw 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.
Traffic jams were seen on Friday at some places both in Srinagar and Jammu cities as vehicles moved at snail’s pace due to multiple check-points.