• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

PM inaugurates and lays foundation stone for development projects worth Rs 11,000 crores in Guwahati, Assam

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for projects worth Rs 11,000 crores in Guwahati, Assam. The key focus areas in Guwahati include projects to boost sports & medical infrastructure and connectivity.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for being present in Assam today with the blessings of Maa Kamakhya to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for projects worth Rs 11,000 crores. He said that the development projects of today will boost Assam’s connectivity to the North Eastern states as well as neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia while also boosting employment in the tourism sector and creating new opportunities for sporting talents in the state. He also mentioned an expansion to the medical education and healthcare sector in the state owing to today’s development projects. Prime Minister Modi congratulated the people of Assam and the North Eastern region for today’s development project and thanked the citizens of Guwahati for the warm reception when he arrived yesterday evening.

Recalling his recent visits to multiple pilgrimage sites, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for arriving before Maa Kamakhya today and laying the foundation stone of Maa Kamakhya Divya Lok Pariyojana. Throwing light on the concept and scope of the project, PM Modi informed that upon completion, it will further increase ease of access and comfort for the devotees while also giving a boost to the footfall. “Assam will become the gateway to tourism in the North East with an increase in the footfall of devotees for Maa Kamakhya’s darshan”, the Prime Minister said as he lauded the efforts of the state government and Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma

Highlighting the significance of Indian pilgrimage sites and temples, the Prime Minister emphasized that these places symbolize an indelible mark of our civilization over thousands of years, showcasing how Bharat has held on to every crisis it has faced. We have witnessed how the civilizations which were considered to be prosperous in the past, now stand in ruins. PM Modi lamented the post-independence governments for starting a trend of being ashamed of one’s own culture and identity for political gains and failing to understand the importance of Bharat’s holy places. He said that it has been rectified in the past 10 years with the help of policies focussing on both ‘Vikas’ (development) and ‘Virasat’ (heritage). Explaining the benefits of these policies for the people of Assam, PM Modi stressed the importance of connecting historical and spiritual places in the state with modern facilities, a move aimed at preserving these sites and accelerating development. Noting the expansion of  prominent educational institutes like IIT and IIM, he said earlier they used to be set up in big cities only. However, now a network of IITs, IIMs and AIIMs has spread across the country with the total number of medical colleges in Assam, which earlier stood at 6, increasing to 12. He also asserted that the state will gradually become a hub for cancer treatment in the North East.

“Ease of living is the priority of the present government”, PM Modi remarked as he mentioned building 4 crore pucca houses for the poor, supplying tapped water connections, electricity, cooking gas connections under Ujjwala Yojna and construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat.

PM Modi underlined that the government’s focus on development along with heritage has massively benefitted the youth of India. Noting the growing enthusiasm for tourism and pilgrimages in the country, the Prime Minister informed about the record influx of devotees in Varanasi after the completion of the Kashi Corridor. “In the past year, 8.50 crore people have visited Kashi, more than 5 crore visited Mahakal Lok in Ujjain, and more than 19 lakh devotees visited Kedardham”, he informed. PM Modi also mentioned that Ayodhya has witnessed more than 24 lakh people in the past 12 days after the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Temple. He reiterated that a similar sight will unfold here after the completion of Maa Kamkhya Divya Lok Pariyojana.

Be it a rickshaw puller, taxi driver, hotel owner or street vendor, the Prime Minister noted that the livelihood of even the poorest gets a boost with the influx of pilgrims and devotees and informed about the government’s focus on tourism in this year’s budget. “Central government is about to initiate new schemes for the development of places of historical relevance”, PM Modi said, highlighting the numerous opportunities present before the North Eastern states in this regard. Therefore, the Prime Minister said, the government is giving special emphasis to the development of North Eastern states.

Pointing out the record number of tourist footfall in the North East in the last 10 years, the Prime Minister said that even though the beauty of the region existed before this, the number of tourists remained extremely low owing to the violence and lack of resources due to the neglect shown by previous governments. Mentioning poor air, rail and road connectivity in the region where traveling from one district to another took hours. PM Modi credited the double-engine government at the center and state level for all-around development in the state.

PM Modi informed that the government has increased the region’s development expenditure by 4 times. Drawing comparisons to before and after 2014, the Prime Minister stated that the length of railway tracks laid was increased by more than 1900 kilometers, the Railway budget was boosted by almost 400 percent and 6,000 kilometers of new national highways were constructed in the last 10 years compared to 10,000 kilometers till 2014. Referring to the projects of today, the Prime Minister said that it will strengthen connectivity to Itanagar.

“Modi’s guarantee means the guarantee of fulfillment”, the Prime Minister said as he mentioned guaranteeing basic facilities to the poor, women, youth and farmers. He touched upon the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra and ‘Modi’s guarantee vehicle’ which is tasked with taking the benefits to those deprived of government schemes. “Around 20 crore people nationwide have directly participated in the Vikas Bharat Sankalp Yatra. A large number of people of Assam have also got its benefits”, he added.

Sharing the Centre’s vision, the Prime Minister affirmed to simplifying the lives of every citizen, a commitment which he claimed is also reflected in this year’s budget announcements. This year the government has pledged to spend Rs 11 lakh crore on infrastructure, adding that an expenditure of this kind on infrastructure creates more employment and gives momentum to development. He also pointed out that the total infrastructure budget for Assam in the last 10 years before 2014 stood at Rs 12 lakh crore.

The Prime Minister reiterated the government’s emphasis in the last 10 years on electricity supply to each home. He informed about the decision taken in this year’s budget to reduce the electricity bills to zero with the initiation of the Rooftop Solar Scheme where the government will assist one crore families to install solar rooftops. “With this, their electricity bill will also be zero and ordinary families will be able to earn by generating electricity at their home”, he added.

Drawing attention to the guarantee of creating 2 crore Lakhpati Didi’s in the country, PM Modi informed that the number reached 1 crore last year and the target is now set at 3 crore Lakhpati Didi’s in this year’s budget. He said that lakhs of women from Assam will also benefit from this. He also touched upon new opportunities for all women associated with the self-help groups and the inclusion of Anganwadi and Asha workers in the Ayushman Scheme.

“Modi has the resolve to work day and night and fulfill the guarantees he provides”, the Prime Minister exclaimed, adding that the North East has faith in Modi’s guarantee. He mentioned permanent peace being established in areas of Assam which were once disturbed and hit with violence, and the resolution of border disputes among states. “More than 10 major peace agreements have been signed here”, he informed, adding that thousands of youth in the North East have shunned the path of violence and opted for development in the last few years. He further stated that out of these, more than 7,000 youth of Assam have also given up arms and have pledged to stand shoulder to shoulder in the development of the country. Highlighting the removal of AFSPA in many districts, he said that the areas which have been affected by violence are being developed today as per the aspirations of the people with the government’s support.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of establishing targets and asserted that previous governments lacked objectives and failed to work hard. He envisions the North East developing similarly to East Asia, facilitating expanded connectivity in North and East Asia. Numerous roads in the state are set to be upgraded under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, transforming the North East into a trade hub. The Prime Minister acknowledged the aspirations of the youth in the North East to witness their region’s development akin to East Asia, expressing his determination to turn this dream into reality.

The Prime Minister underlined that the goal of a happy and prosperous life for India and its citizens is the main reason behind all the development works being carried out today. “The goal is to make India the third largest economy in the world. The goal is Viksit Bharat 2047”, the Prime Minister concluded reaffirming the huge role to be played by Assam and the North East.

Governor of Assam,  Gulab Chand Katarai, Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal were present on the occasion among others.

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