BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 21 OCTOBER 2022
“For me, every village at the border is the first village of the country and the people residing near the border make the country’s strong guard,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mana in Uttarakhand, noting that it is the last village of India.
The PM has comere here to lay the foundation stone of the ropeways and road projects worth over Rs.3400 crores. These projects will further boost tourism in the region.
“Today, Kashi, Ujjain, Ayodhya and many more spiritual centres are reclaiming their lost pride and legacy,” PM Narendra Modi said.
In his appeal to the travellers he was vocal for the local. ““Take out 5 percent of your travel budget to buy local products. This will give a big boost to the local economy and will also give immense satisfaction to the you,” the PM added.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister visited Kedarnath and performed darshan and pooja at Shri Kedarnath Temple. He also visited the Adi Guru Shankaracharya Samadhi Sthal and reviewed the work in progress along Mandakini Asthapath and Saraswati Asthapath. The Prime Minister also visited Badrinath and performed darshan and pooja at Shri Badrinath Temple. He then reviewed the work in progress along the Alaknanda riverfront.
Kedarnath, Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib are holding the faith while connecting the services with technology”, the PM underlined, “From Ram temple in Ayodhya to Maa Kalika temple in Pavagadh, Gujarat to Devi Vindhyachal Corridor, India is announcing its cultural and traditional upliftment.” He further added that pilgrims will find it easy to reach these centres of faith and the services that are being introduced will make the lives of the elderly easy-going..
“Rail, roads, and ropeways bring employment with them and make life easy and empowered. These facilities enhance tourism and make transportation easy in the hilly area. Drones are also being planned to be deployed to improve logistics in these difficult areas”, the PM said.
Modern connectivity is a guarantee of national defence. He underlined that the government is taking one step after the other in this direction for the last 8 years. Highlighting the two major connectivity schemes launched a few years back, the Prime Minister gave examples of Bharatmala and Sagarmala. The PM said that under Bharatmala, the border areas of the country are being connected with the best and widest highways, and with Sagarmala, the connectivity of India’s seashores is being strengthened. The Prime Minister further informed that the government has executed unprecedented expansion of border connectivity from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh in the last 8 years. “Since 2014, the Border Roads Organization has constructed about 7,000 km of new roads and built hundreds of bridges. Many important tunnels have also been completed”, he added.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the Parvatmala Yojana which is improving the connectivity of hilly states. He pointed out that the construction of a huge network of ropeways has begun under this scheme in Uttarakhand and Himachal. PM Narendra Modi emphasised the need to change the perception of the border areas just as the military establishment did. “We are making efforts so that these areas have a vibrant life where development is celebrated,” he added.
The Prime Minister stated that the road that will be built from Mana to Mana Pass will benefit the region immensely. With the widening of Joshimath to Malari road, it will be very easy for common people as well as our soldiers to reach the border, PM said.
The ropeway in Kedarnath will be around 9.7 Km in length and will connect Gaurikund to Kedarnath, thereby reducing the travel time between the two places from 6-7 hours at present to merely 30 mins. The Hemkund ropeway will connect Govindghat to Hemkund Sahib. It will be around 12.4 Km in length and will reduce the travel time from more than a day to only about 45 mins. This ropeway will also connect Ghangaria, which is the gateway to Valley of Flowers National Park.
Developed at a cumulative cost of around Rs 2430 crore, the ropeways will be an environment-friendly mode of transport making the journey safe, secure and stable. This major infrastructure development will give a boost to religious tourism, thereby providing a fillip to the economic development in the region and leading to the creation of multiple employment opportunities.
The foundation stones of road widening projects worth around Rs 1000 crore will also be laid during the visit. The two road widening projects – from Mana to Mana Pass (NH07) and from Joshimath to Malari (NH107B) – shall be another step towards providing last-mile all-weather road connectivity to our border areas. Apart from boosting connectivity, these projects will also prove beneficial from a strategic point of view as well.
Kedarnath and Badrinath are one of the most important Hindu shrines. The area is also known for one of the revered Sikh Pilgrim sites – Hemkund Sahib. The connectivity projects being undertaken show the Prime Minister’s commitment to ease access and improve basic infrastructure in places of religious significance.
Mana is a village in the district of Chamoli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, located at an altitude of 3,200 meters. It is located on the northern terminus of National Highway 7 (new numbering system), Mana is the last village before the Mana Pass and is 26 kilometres from the border of India and Tibet The village is at a distance of about 3 km from the Hindu Pilgrimage Badrinath and the two places are culturally connected with each other. There is a small cave in Mana, named Vyas Gufa and it is believed that Maharshi Vyas composed Mahabharatha in this cave. One more cave is called Ganesh Gufa and tourists visit both caves regularly. Nearby places include Vasudhara Falls, Satopanth Lake, Bhim Pul, Saraswati Temple etc.