Kishtwar:, June 25: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that the entire nation stands united against terrorism which will not be allowed to succeed, a day after militants struck in Srinagar killing eight army men.
"I want to pay my tributes to the soldiers who laid down their lives while fighting the terrorists. I would like to make it clear that the entire nation stands united against terrorism and will not allow their nefarious designs to succeed," he said.
Noting that security was a pre-requisite for growth, Singh said the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government will work together towards improving the situation in the state for fast and uniform development. "Our analysis is that, security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has shown considerable improvement. Terrorist-related violence in 2012 had shown a sharp decline and was the lowest in last two decades," he said, laying the foundation stone of the 850 MW Rattle hydroelectric power project here along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Prime Minister said, "The Centre and the state government have vowed to improve the security situation in the state to ensure fast, sustainable and uniform development in the state." After several "difficult" years, collective efforts have resulted in putting Jammu and Kashmir on a faster pace of development, Singh said.
The Prime Minister, however, said constant vigil was needed to prevent attacks like the one that took place yesterday at Hyderpora.
Singh and Gandhi paid tributes to the soldiers killed in yesterday's militant attack in Srinagar and visited the Army Base Hospital at Badamibagh cantonment to inquire about the condition of injured jawans.
On the power front, the Prime Minister said the Centre will provide all help to Jammu and Kashmir in overcoming the electricity shortage and announced several steps in this direction, including additional 150 MW supply from the northern grid.
Shops, other business establishments and schools remained closed in Srinagar in wake of the restrictions clamped by security agencies for the VVIP visit. Three main separatist groups have given a strike call to protest Singh's visit.
On the Rattle project, Singh said that it was awarded after tariff-based international competitive bidding and is an important milestone in exploring the state's hydroelectric potential. The Rs 5,500 crore project has got all requisite sanctions and work on it has also begun, he said.
"It is worth mentioning that Rs 262 crore environment management rehabilitation and resettlement project has commenced along with the power project," the Prime Minister said. Giving the progress report on the Rs 37,000 crore Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan for Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said work on 34 of the 67 projects and schemes under this plan have been completed.
"During my visit to the state in 2004, I had announced a reconstruction plan for the state. It included projects and schemes worth Rs 37,000 crore aimed at creating infrastructure development, basic amenities, employment and other income generating activities and rehabilitation and resettlement of militancy-affected victims," the Prime Minister said.
"I am happy to inform you that out of 67 projects and schemes under the reconstruction plan, 34 have been completed. Work on remaining schemes has seen good progress," he said.
Singh said, in addition to this plan, nearly Rs 1,000 crore worth of projects are being implemented in Jammu and Ladakh regions for meeting development needs of these areas. For skill development and making the state's youth employable, he said that schemes like 'Himayat' and 'Udaan' have been launched and the results were encouraging.
"Special scholarships for students of the state have encouraged and enabled them to avail higher education opportunities," he added.
The Prime Minister said Jammu and Kashmir was drawing 1,664 MW from the northern grid which does not suffice its needs. Speaking on the occasion, J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah advocated transfer of 390-MW Dulhasti Hydro Electric Power Project to the state to enable it address increasing power supply demand and strengthen the economy.