ANI Photo | J-K: First river rejuvenation project completed, locals await “Devika’s rebirth” ahead of PM Modi’s visit

Excitement is brewing in Udhampur as North India’s first river rejuvenation project, “Devika” completed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various projects in Jammu and Kashmir, scheduled for February 20.
The Devika River considered the sister of the holy Ganga, holds immense religious importance for local communities.
Recognizing this, the government launched the Devika Rejuvenation Project in 2019, drawing inspiration from the successful “Namami Gange” program.
j k first river rejuvenation project completed locals await devikas rebirth ahead of pm modis visit 1 – The News Mill
Residents of Udhampur are hailing the project as a “rebirth” for the Devika River. The project not only promises environmental rejuvenation but also potential economic benefits through sustainable tourism and local business opportunities.
Raghav Raine a local from Udhampur, reflecting on the project completion, witnessed significant changes in the Devika River.
“Today, we stand in the city of Devika, and I express heartfelt gratitude for the work carried out by the roads here. I sincerely thank our Prime Minister, Modi Ji, who is scheduled to visit on the 20th, who comes every year. Significant developments have taken place here; what was once just a jungle now has seating arrangements, and a special open theatre has been constructed for events. Previously, it was dark here, but now there is proper lighting, making it accessible for elderly individuals who couldn’t come before due to the darkness. I am very excited about Modi Ji’s visit to Devika this time, wondering what gifts he might bring for us,” Raghav Raine said.
A college student, Rohit Kumar, expressed his gratitude for the roadwork carried out in the city.
“I have witnessed a multitude of significant changes in the Devika River. When I used to come here before, there were no proper pathways, but now there is complete development. The river was highly polluted in the past. I also want to express my gratitude to PM Modi for the development of our religious place, the Devika River,” he said.
Felmo Devi anticipates economic growth resulting from these positive changes.
“When I first visited, it was hard to believe because there was nothing developed around the Devika River. There were no proper pathways. But now, a significant revolution has taken place, and in the times to come, tourists will be attracted here. We will also witness the economic growth in future. There have been substantial changes,” Felmo Devi said.
Tariq Shah, a local from Udhampur, highlighted the transformative impact of Prime Minister Modi over the ten-year tenure, making the Devika River worth witnessing
“In the entire tenure of 10 years, Prime Minister Modi has transformed our Devika River, making it worth witnessing. Nowadays, a considerable number of people visit, and there’s even a statue of Lord Shiva. Beautification efforts have been implemented, and special attention is given to the cleanliness of the Devika River. We have high hopes that when PM Modi inaugurates it, there will be additional arrangements for the development of Udhampur. The waves of development have been visible in Devika since the arrival of PM Modi,” Tariq Shah said.
Udhampur is also a well-known city for the Devika River, which is referred to as the sister of the Ganges.
According to the official website of the district Udhampur, the details there say that the Nilmat Puran, written in the 7th century by Nela Muni, mentioned that the Devika River is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Parwati herself, benefiting the people of Mader Desha that covers areas between the rivers Ravi and Chenab. The Devika River is said to have appeared on Shiv Ratri.
“Lord Shiva himself is said to remain side by side with his consort Uma, manifesting in the form of Shiv Lingas at eight places alongside the Devika River,” per the information on District Udhampur official website

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