NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday announced that Jammu and Kashmir will be in the “list of most developed Indian states in next 10 years”. He made the statement while flagging off the second semi-high speed indigenous Vande Bharat train from the national capital to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. “Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express is a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development and for promoting religious tourism,” said Shah, who was accompanied by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Union Ministers Dr Jitendra Singh and Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The minister also lauded the government’s decision to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Every Indian had a feeling that Article 370 should go. Narendra Modi government did it.” The Home Minister termed Article 370 as the “biggest roadblock” in the state’s development.
“The special status was the biggest impediment in the development of J&K. Before the abrogation of Article 370, there were many obstacles in Jammu and Kashmir’s path to development. In the next 10 years, Jammu and Kashmir will be one of the most developed states. The journey of development has begun with Vande Bharat Express set to boost tourism in the state,” Shah said, adding that revocation of Article 370 helped in completely eradicating terrorism and the ideas promoting terrorism in the area.
On this occasion, Shah also reminisced the importance of the Swadeshi Movement during the British rule and said the coaches of the train were “made in India.” He recalled how Mahatma Gandhi used the railway network to connect with people and gain Independence. “Just like Independence, railways will be an important tool in achieving the $5 trillion economy goal of Prime Minister Modi,” he said. Speaking on this occasion Goyal said, “Railways will connect the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before 15th August 2022.”
Navratri gift to sisters, brothers of Jammu: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about the launch of Vande Bharat saying, “Navratri gift for my sisters and brothers of Jammu as well as devotees of Maa Vaishno Devi! The New Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Maa Vaishno Devi, Katra will improve connectivity as well as spiritual tourism.” This is the second Vande Bharat Express, the first runs between Delhi and Varanasi.