Tight security in place, SPG to oversee venues
Prime Minister NarendraModi would arrive in J&K Friday to throw open Udhampur-Katra Railway Line in Jammu and inaugurate the 240-MW Uri-II Hydroelectric Project in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The State Government has put in place unprecedented security arrangements for Modi’s maiden visit to the State as Prime Minister even as team of elite Special Protection Group (SPG) have already flown from New Delhi in connection with the high-profile visit.
Modi would begin his visit from Jammu where he would be received by Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Jammu airport. He would straight fly to Katra to inaugurate the 25-kilometer Udhampur-Katra rail link which is the part of the mega project to connect Kashmir with the entire rail network across India. Modi would be accompanied by Union Railway Minister DV SadanandaGowda and Minister in PMO, Jitendra Singh.
“The program is scheduled at 10 am,” said an official.
The Udhampur-Katra rail link has been built at a cost of about Rs 1000 crore and involves about 11 kilometers of tunneling apart from nine major and 29 minor bridges. The commissioning of the link would take Vaishno Devi pilgrims now directly up to the base camp of the cave shrine. The 53-km-long Jammu-Udhampur rail line
is already operational. The tallest bridge on Udhampur-Katra section is 85 meters high (Bridge No. 20) and the longest tunnel is 3.15 kilometers.
The official said soon after inaugurating the rail link, the Prime Minister would address a rally at Katra. “The address will be for 10 to 20 minutes,” the official said. “We are expecting the Prime Minister to announce Kashmir specific priorities and talk about rehabilitation of Pandits.”
From Katra, Modi would fly to Technical Airport here in an Air Force aircraft. Modi’s next destination would be Army’s 15 Coprs headquarters at Badamibagh here. “During his 30-minute stay at the Army’s headquarters, the PM is expected is to lay floral wreath at Army’s War Memorial and later on address the soldiers there,” a source said.
Modi would then go Raj Bhavan here for luncheon with Governor NN Vohra. “An informal discussion is expected between the two on wide range of issues including Kashmir situation,” the source said.
Modi would then fly to Uri in North Kashmir in late afternoon to inaugurate Uri-II hydroelectric power project owned by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
The project, second on river Jhelum in Uri town, is located downstream 480 Mega Watt Uri-I. The project has four units of 60 MW each and has been designed to generate 1124 million units of electricity.
The total generation capacity of NHPC is over 2000 MW. The other projects of NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir are 690-MW Salal, 480-MW Uri-I, 390-MW Dulhasti 120-MW Sewa-II, 45-MW Chutak and 44-MW NimoBazgo.
Modi is also scheduled to interact with top NHPC officials at the inauguration site before returning to New Delhi.
Meanwhile unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place across Kashmir for Modi’s visit.
Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength at all sensitive places across Kashmir to prevent any law and order situation as separatists have called for complete shutdown against the Prime Minister’s visit.
Sources said the Special Protection Group would be exclusively handling the security and protection of the Prime Minister at the venue of the inauguration of hydropower plant in Uri.
“The entire area around the venue has been declared as a highly protected zone,” sources said.
They said there would be a heavy deployment of paramilitary forces and army on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway as top State Government officials would reach the venue by road.