Terming security as pre-requisite for development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government will work together towards improving situation in the state for fast and uniform development.
"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," Singh said after laying the foundation stone of the 850 MW Rattle project here along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Security, he said, was a pre-requisite for 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.
"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.
However, the Prime Minister 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, even as the Prime Minister asserted that the country stands united to foil the designs of terrorists.
"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. (More) PTI MIJ SKL SSB DKB SC
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 added.
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 youth of the state 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.
On the power front, the Prime Minister said Jammu and Kashmir was drawing 1,664 MW from the northern grid which does not suffice its needs.
The Prime Minister announced an additional 150 MW for the state to meet its power requirements.
"I am happy that the state is getting electricity from two power projects completed by the NHPC -- Nimo Bazgo and Chutuk (in Ladakh region). I am hopeful that in near future Uri-II project in Baramulla will also be completed and the state will receive power from it," he said.
A transmission line costing Rs 1,629 crore between Srinagar and Leh is being laid, which will meet electricity needs of people in Ladakh region throughout the year, Singh said.
The Prime Minister said the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has taken five ITIs under its ambit and plans to take two more for imparting training to the youth for working in power projects.
Power Grid Corporation will set up a training institute at Kangan in Ganderbal district, he said.
Referring to the 850 MW Rattle power project, Singh said, this project, awarded after international competitive bidding, 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," he added.
The Prime Minister, while lauding the state government for taking steps towards improving people's lifestyle in the area, expressed the hope that they will be provided employment and compensation according to the national rehabilitation and resettlement policy for such projects.