Promote Uttarakhand as major tourist destination: PM Modi

ANI | Updated: Oct 20, 2017 12:45 IST

Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) [India], Oct. 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday pitched for the development of the Uttarakhand state in an endeavour to make it a major tourist destination of the country.

The Prime Minister, after inaugurating various development projects in Kedarnath, said that it is people's responsibility to protect the environment, and the nation should take pledge for it.

"The Himalayas have so much to offer- for spiritual pursuits, for nature lovers, for those interested in adventure, water sports. I invite everyone to come and explore the Himalayas," he said while addressing a large crowd gathered at the venue.

He said that there is much scope of organic farming in the state in line with the global trend. The Prime Minister urged Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to make Uttarakhand an organic state by 2022.

Talking about the picturesque beauty of the hill state, Prime Minister Modi said discipline is in the blood of the people, and tourists visiting here should be made aware of this behaviour.

"Discipline is in the blood of people here in Uttarakhand, at least one person from each family is a soldier. The tourist should be made aware of this discipline," he said.

He said the Centre has also started the construction of the road inter-linking the 'Char Dham'.

Expressing happiness over his visit to the Kedernath Temple for the second time within a short span of five months, the Prime Minister said he is happy that the revamping of the Kedarnath Temple, which was destroyed in the 2013 floods, is being done by him.

"Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva. From this holy land of Kedarnath, I seek the blessings of Bhole Baba and pledge to devote myself fully to realising the dream of a developed India by the time we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022," he said.

"The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for victims. But the government at that time asserted that they don't need the help of Gujarat government for the reconstruction of the Kedarnath Temple. But I think the Lord has decided that this work will be done by me," he added.

He said his government has ensured traditional ethos to be preserved while the construction of the modern infrastructure in Kedarnath and the environment is not damaged.

"Through the work we are doing in Kedarnath, we want to show how an ideal 'Tirth Kshetra' should be, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the well-being of the priests should be given importance," the Prime Minister asserted.

On his arrival Prime Minister Modi offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine in the Rudraprayag district. He was accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

This is the second visit of Prime Minister to Kedarnath this season. He had visited the holy shrine on May 3 when its gates were reopened after the winter break. (ANI)