Jammu, Apr 17 :The residents of Palli in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district are upbeat over the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to their village, which is set to become the first carbon-free solar panchayat in the union territory.
From the macadamised roads to the recently launched electric bus service, the village located just 17 kms from the winter capital Jammu is witnessing a major transformation with an upgraded Panchayat Ghar, renovated government high school building, a new pond and improved playfields.
The work is going on at war-footing especially on the 500 KV solar plant which is being installed in a record time of nearly three weeks on a total area of 6,408 square metres to provide clean electricity to 340 houses in the model panchayat under the central government’s Gram Urja Swaraj’ programme.
A twenty-five member team is working round the clock to complete the Rs 2.75 crore project in the next couple of days before its formal inauguration by the prime minister during his visit to the village on April 24, chairman and managing director, Central Electronics Limited, Chetan Prakash Jain said.
He said the electricity generated will be distributed to the village, having a daily requirement of 2,000 units, through the local power grid station.
Deputy Commissioner, Samba, Anuradha Gupta has already distributed solar Chulhas’ (stoves) among the beneficiaries in the village which has over 450 houses. The rest of the houses will be covered in the next phase after the prime minister’s visit.
On the National Panchayti Raj Day, the prime minister is scheduled to fly to Pali village from Jammu airport to address a gathering including over 30,000 Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members of Jammu and Kashmir besides around 700 panchayats across the country virtually.
This will be Modi’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir other than borders post the abrogation of the special status of J and K and bifurcation of the erstwhile state in August 2019.
He had celebrated Diwali with the Army jawans on October 27, 2019, at Rajouri and November 3, 2021, at Nowshera sector in Jammu division. His last visit to Jammu and Kashmir as a state was on February 3, 2019, when he had visited all three regions including Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh and launched projects worth thousands of crores.
Modi is also expected to launch industrial investments worth Rs 70,000 crore and inaugurate and lay foundation for some developmental projects including two power projects.
Ravinder Sharma, local sarpanch affiliated with the BJP, said the village started witnessing the transformation after the central government successfully conducted the panchayati elections in November-December 2020 and empowered the grassroots level institutions by facilitating the three-tier panchayat raj system.
Our village set on the path of development amid free flow of funds and the prime minister’s visit only speeded up some of the pending works, Sharma, who last year received the best sarpanch award on Republic Day, told PTI.
The launch of the electric bus service by the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) from the village to Jammu and the installation of the first ATM was a long pending demand of the panchayat, he said, adding the work on providing every household with tap water was going on for the past one year.
We are feeling proud that the prime minister has chosen our village to address the nation on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day. The village witnessed a lot of work over the past one month as officers of almost all departments are either camping in the village or regularly visiting to oversee the progress of developmental works, Bunty Kumar, a local, said.
He said almost all the households were connected with the tap water and are also being provided solar panels to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.
Meena, a teacher, is also ecstatic over the renovation of the government high school building and said both the students and teachers are working together to paint the walls and classrooms with various messages.
Vikram, another resident, said the village pond was restored along with the Panchayat Ghar with upgraded facilities including computers and internet connection, while the playfields are also being developed at a fast pace.
We are looking forward for the visit of the prime minister and want every part of the union territory is developed like our village, he said.