INDIA. Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a 520 km long first phase of the Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg connecting Nagpur and Shirdi, along with other projects on Sunday.
This highway, when completed, will directly connect 10 districts of Maharashtra and will, indirectly connect 14 other districts and will drastically reduce the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai.
The 701 Km expressway is one of India’s longest expressways, being built at the cost of about Rs 55,000 crore.
The prime minister also virtually launched 10 other projects, which will cumulatively cost Rs 75000 crore.
The projects include:
a) AIIMS, Nagpur (Rs 1,575 crore),
b) Nagpur Institute of One Health (to boost the country’s health research),
c) ICMR facility to enhance research on haemoglobinopathies at Chandrapur,
d) the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET), at Chandrapur, e) the Nag River Pollution Abetment project under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) at Nagpur,
f)The inauguration of the Nagpur Metro rail phase I (Rs 8650 crore), and the foundation laying ceremony of the Nagpur Metro rail phase II ( Rs 6700 crore).
g) Inauguration of the Nagpur-Bilaspur (Chhatisgarh) Vande Bharat Express train (the travel time from Nagpur to Bilaspur will be reduced to 5 hours 30 mins from 7-8 hours),
h) the foundation laying ceremony of the redevelopment of Nagpur and Ajni railway stations,
i) inauguration of the Government Maintenance Depot (locomotive maintenance depot) at Ajni in Nagpur
j) the inauguration of the Kohli-Narkhed section of the Nagpur-Itarsi third-line project.
Prime Minister took a ride in the Nagpur Metro from Freedom Park Metro Station and interacted with students, those from the start-up sector, and citizens from other walks of life. He also played a ‘Dhol’ during the visit to the launch of the Vande Bharat.
In his nearly 45-minute long speech, Modi referred to these projects as 11 stars in the development of Nagpur and adjoining areas.
He emphasized on infrastructural development and quoted the example of other countries which could develop only because of faster infrastructural growth.
He gave the example of South Korea, Gulf countries, and Singapore in this regard. Singapore, which was once a fishing island, has today become a major economic centre, he added.
Narrating how the lopsided administration led to the delay in the implementation of the projects, he quoted an example of the Gosikhurd Dam on the Wainganga River near Pauni in the Bhandara district, which was completed in 2017 only after the NDA Government came to power. Meanwhile, the project cost escalated up to Rs 18000 crore from Rs 400 crore in the last three decades.
No infrastructural work can proceed if those implementing it are insensitive to the project. Even today, 100 districts in the country require infrastructural push so that tribals will benefit and will refrain from indulging in violence, Modi said.
Modi recalled a host of schemes like PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Kisan Credit Card Scheme, Janadhar Yojana, Ayushman Yojana, a loan facility for street vendors, etc, introduced by the Union Government and claimed that the “all-inclusive” approach has led to all-round development in the last eight years.
“Sthayi Vikas, Sthayi Samadhan (Steady development, Steady Satisfaction) should be our motto,” Modi said.
“BJP won in the recent Gujarat Assembly election only because of this avowed objective. Instead of short measures, the country’s welfare should be its aim. With this, they can win any number of elections,” he added.
In a veiled reference, he lambasted opposition parties for adopting the short-term approach to usurp power and swindle the taxpayers’ money. He criticized previous governments for corruption and vote bank politics.
“They weakened the economy by over-spending,” Modi said. He also urged people to remain away from such selfish political leaders.
Modi arrived in Nagpur on Sunday morning, where he was received by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Modi was slated to inaugurate the Mopa International Airport in Goa on Sunday evening. The airport has been developed at a cost of around Rs 2,870 crore. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for this airport in November 2016.
The airport has been built on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and has a solar power plant, green buildings, and LED lights on the runway, among other such facilities.
The prime minister will also inaugurate three National Ayush Institutes, which have been developed at a total cost of about Rs 970 crore. He will also address the valedictory function of the 9th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) and the Arogya Expo in Goa.
The event is witnessing the active participation of more than 400 overseas delegates representing over 50 countries, international students, and various other stakeholders of Ayurveda. The theme of this year’s edition of WAC is “Ayurveda for One Heal”.