Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India], October 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a free-wheeling interaction with construction workers engaged in working on various projects in Uttarkhand.
PM Modi had the interaction while conducting a review of the development projects in Kedarnath today.
During his interaction, PM Modi enquired from the workers about their native states, and the benefits of government welfare schemes. He also enquired about their Covid vaccination status.
The Prime Minister is on a visit to the Himalayan state where he laid the foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 3,400 crore.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister performed puja at the Kedarnath Temple. Following that he reviewed the progress of development works along the Mandakini Asthapath and Saraswati Asthapath in Kedarnath. He also laid the foundation stone for the 9.7 km-long Gaurikund-Kedarnath ropeway project in Kedarnath.
Meanwhile, pilgrims in Kedarnath were seen excited over Prime Minister's visit. People also said they were happy over the upcoming ropeway facility at Kedarnath Dham.
"If work happens on the ropeway project it will be very good. This will make it convenient for senior citizens to reach the Dham," a pilgrim from Haryana's Gurugram told ANI.
A woman who came from West Bengal said, "It was like a bonus since she got a glimpse of Prime Minister Modi while visiting the Kedarnath shrine. The ropeway will be very good for the pilgrims."
Mohit, a pilgrim from Chandigarh said that he chose to visit Kedarnath today since he heard that PM Modi would be visiting the shrine on the same day.
After Kedarnath, Prime Minister arrived in Badrinath to perform puja at Sri Badrinath temple and launch several development projects.
PM laid the foundation stone of road and ropeway projects at Mana village. He will also review the progress of the development work of the arrival plaza and lakes.
However, the mood among pilgrims in Badrinath was quite similar of Kedarnath. Pilgrims here were happy over the ropeway project.
Shankar Parsetty, a pilgrim from Pune said, "The ropeway and other development projects are great initiatives. It will ease travel for tourists. This will be good for the pilgrims and visitors."
"Prime Minister Modi has a great vision for the Kedarnath-Badrinath region. I believe the development projects will create a lot of employment opportunities for the youth. The projects will boost tourism," another pilgrim told ANI.
According to Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the ropeway in Kedarnath will be around 9.7 km long and will connect Gaurikund to Kedarnath, reducing the travel time between the two places from the current six to seven hours at present, to only about 30 minutes.
The Hemkund ropeway will connect Govindghat to Hemkund Sahib. It will be around 12.4 km long and will reduce the travel time from more than a day to only about 45 mins. This ropeway will also connect Ghangaria, which is the gateway to Valley of Flowers National Park, said the PMO statement.
The ropeways, which will be developed at a cumulative cost of around Rs 2,430 crore, are an environmentally friendly mode of transport that will provide a safe, secure and stable mode of transport. This major infrastructure development will give a boost to religious tourism, which will give a fillip to the economic development in the region and lead to the creation of multiple employment opportunities as well.
Foundation stone of road widening projects worth around Rs 1000 crore will also be laid during the visit. The two road widening projects - from Mana to Mana Pass (NH07) and from Joshimath to Malari (NH107B) - shall be another step towards providing last-mile all-weather road connectivity to our border areas. Apart from boosting connectivity, these projects will also prove beneficial from a strategic point of view as well.
Kedarnath and Badrinath are among the most important Hindu shrines. The area is also known for one of the revered Sikh Pilgrim site - Hemkund Sahib. The connectivity projects are aimed to ease access and improve basic infrastructure in places of religious significance. (ANI)