The day is not far away when the Devi of Kanyakumari will meet Vaishno Devi with a single road,” Modi said, addressing a huge gathering on the occasion of the National Panchayati Raj Day here, 17 kms from Jammu.
“Distances, whether of hearts, languages, customs or of resources, their elimination is our very big priority today,” he said.
The prime minister emphasised on the role of panchayats in the development of the country and said this ‘amrit kaal’ of Independence is going to be the golden period of India.
“This resolve is going to be realised by ‘sabka prayas’ (everyone’s effort). In this, the role of the gram panchayat, the most grassroots unit of democracy, and all of you colleagues is very important,” he said.
It is the effort of the government, he stressed, that the role of panchayat should deepen in planning and implementation of every project related to the development of the village.
“With this, panchayat will emerge as an important link in the achievement of national resolutions,” he added.
Reiterating his push for natural farming, the prime minister said that it is critical to free ‘Mother Earth’ of chemicals as it is harming the land and groundwater.
“If our villages move towards natural farming, it will benefit entire humanity,” Modi said and asked the farmers to explore how natural farming can be promoted at the level of gram panchayats.
Similarly, gram panchayats can play a major role in combating malnutrition with the help of ‘sabka prayas’, he said.
“People on the ground have to be made aware about the initiative taken by the central government to save the country from malnutrition and anaemia. Now, rice given under the government schemes is being fortified,” he said.
The prime minister said 75 sarovars (ponds) will come up in every district of the country by August 15, 2023, and asked the officials concerned that these sarovars should be lined with trees named after the martyrs and freedom fighters.
Modi also elaborated upon the push for transparency and empowerment of gram panchayats. “Measures like e-Gram Swaraj are linking processes from planning to payment.”
He said panchayats will be audited online and highlighted the role of women in these institutions and village governance, especially water governance.
In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Modi also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of several projects worth around Rs 20,000 crore for the Union territory.
“The projects inaugurated and whose foundation stone was laid will go a long way in facilitating provision of basic amenities, ensuring ease of mobility and development of infrastructure in the region,” he said.