Against the backdrop of the Uttarakhand disaster, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday stressed that the ecology and biodiversity should be protected while carrying out development projects.
"I believe that the ecology and biodiversity should be protected," Gandhi said while laying the foundation stone of 850-MW Rattle power project in this remote district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Gandhi said projects like Rattle should benefit the local population.
She expressed hope that the people whose land has been acquired for the project will get adequate compensation.
The UPA chairperson condoled the death of eight army soldiers in a militant attack in Srinagar on Monday.
Gandhi said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have shown determination to put the state on the path of peace, progress and development.
She also expressed satisfaction over the increasing number of youth from the state qualifying UPSC examinations.
"The youth have shown that given an opportunity, they can do well at all levels," Gandhi said.
Noting that the central government has launched several schemes for development and employment generation in the state, she said, "The Centre has launched Udaan and Himayat schemes for upgrading employment skills of the youth in the state.
"Recently, chief minister Omar Abdullah and Rahul Gandhi launched Umeed scheme for making the women of the state self-reliant," she said.
Gandhi said the J-K government has taken several steps for inter-linking many parts of the state.
She also applauded Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is a former J-K chief minister, for the leadership shown by him in the state.