by Jul 18, 2022Business & Infrastructure0 comments

I have been visiting Uttar Pradesh for decades. With the blessings of UP, all of you have given me the responsibility of working as the country’s Pradhan Sevak for the last eight years. I always believed that if two important things are added to Uttar Pradesh, if its drawbacks are taken care of, then Uttar Pradesh will revive with greater strength to face the challenges. The first issue was the poor law and order situation here and I’m talking about the past. You all know what was the situation? And the second issue was poor connectivity in all respects. Today, the people of Uttar Pradesh have changed the entire picture of Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath ji. Law and order has also improved under the Yogi ji-led government and connectivity is also improving rapidly. Whatever work was done for modern means of transport in UP in the seven decades after independence, more work is being done today. I am asking you if it is happening or not? Is it happening or not? Is it visible or not?

The Bundelkhand Express has not only reduced the distance between Chitrakoot and Delhi by about 3-4 hours, but its benefit is more than that. This expressway will not only give speed to the vehicles here, but it is also going to accelerate the industrial progress of the entire Bundelkhand. Many industries, including storage and cold storage facilities, are going to be established on both sides of this expressway. It will be very easy to set up agro-based industries in this region due to the Bundelkhand Expressway and it will be easy to transport the farm produce to new markets. This will also help a lot with the Defense Corridor being built in Bundelkhand. In a way, this expressway is going to connect every corner of Bundelkhand with development, self-employment and new opportunities.

There was a time when it was believed that only big cities had the first right on modern means of transport. Everything should be available to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad or Delhi. But now with the change in the government, the temperament has also changed. Modi and Yogi together are moving ahead in a new way leaving the old approach behind. Equal priority has been given to small cities along with big cities in the connectivity projects which have been launched in Uttar Pradesh since 2017.

This Bundelkhand Expressway is passing through Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah. Purvanchal Expressway is passing through Lucknow as well as Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. The Gorakhpur Link Expressway connects Ambedkarnagar, Sant Kabirnagar and Azamgarh. Ganga Expressway will connect Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj. You can see a huge force is being created. Every corner of Uttar Pradesh is ready to move at a fast pace with new dreams and resolutions, and this is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

Let no one be left behind and let all move forward together. The double-engine government is continuously working in this direction. Rapid work is underway for connecting small districts of UP with air service. In the recent past, new airport terminals have been built at Prayagraj and Ghaziabad. A new airport at Kushinagar has been made operational and work is going on for another international airport at Jewar, Noida. Efforts are being made to connect many more cities of UP by air route in the near future too.

The tourism industry also gets a lot of strength from such facilities. I was going through the presentation of Bundelkhand Expressway before coming to dais here. I saw a module. There are so many forts beside this expressway. It is not only the fort of Jhansi, but there are several forts. Those who have visited foreign countries must be aware that there are several countries in Europe where a huge tourism industry thrives in the form of forts. People from across the world visit those places to see old forts. After the inauguration of the Bundelkhand Expressway, today I would urge Yogi ji’s government to create a tourism circuit for these forts so that tourists from all over the world come here and see the potential of Bundelkhand.

I would make another request to Yogi ji to organize a competition for the youth of Uttar Pradesh to climb the fort when the winter season starts. The route should not be the traditional one, but the toughest one. Organize a meet of the youth to see who climbs the fort first. You will see thousands of youth of Uttar Pradesh will join this competition and because of that people from different parts will come to Bundelkhand. They will stay in the night; will spend some money and a huge opportunity for livelihood will be created. Friends, an expressway gives rise to so many opportunities.

The way UP is getting modernized under the double-engine government is really unprecedented. Remember friends, what I am saying. Will you remember? Raise your hand and tell me that you will remember. Will you remember for sure and tell people over and over again? In UP, it took 40 years to complete the Saryu canal project, Gorakhpur fertilizer plant was closed for 30 years, it took 12 years to complete the Arjun Dam project, there was only a board outside the Amethi rifle factory and the Rae Bareli Rail Coach Factory was not manufacturing coaches but was only decorating and refurbishing the coaches. Today, the infrastructure work is being done so seriously in UP that it has left even developed states behind, friends. Now the identity of UP is changing all over the country.

It’s not just about highways or airways. UP is progressing in every field, be it education, manufacturing, or agriculture. Earlier, an average of 50 km of rail lines was being doubled in UP every year. How many kilometers? Before the formation of our government, only 50 kilometres of railway doubling was being done in a year. The youth of my Uttar Pradesh should know how the future is shaped. Today an average of 200 km of rail line is being constructed every year. There were only 11,000 Common Service Centers in UP before 2014. Keep in mind the figure. How many? Eleven thousand! Today more than 1.30 lakh Common Service Centers are functioning in UP. Will you remember this figure? At one time there were only 12 medical colleges in UP. Remember the figure. How many medical colleges? Tell me aloud how many? Twelve medical colleges! Today there are more than 35 medical colleges in UP and work is going on for 14 new medical colleges. Look at the difference between 14 and 50.

The stream of development on which the country is moving today has two major aspects at its core. One is intention and the other is dignity. We are not only creating new facilities for the present of the country but are also building the future of the country. We are engaged in building 21st century infrastructure through the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan.

Our commitment for development is such that we do not let the time limit overshoot. There are countless examples in Uttar Pradesh of how we complete the projects within the deadline. Our government started the work of beautification of Vishwanath Dham in Kashi and our own government completed it. Our government also laid the foundation stone of Gorakhpur AIIMS and it was also inaugurated by this government. Our government also laid the foundation stone of Delhi-Meerut Expressway and its inauguration was also done by our government. Bundelkhand Expressway is also an example of this. It was to be completed in February next year but it is ready for service 7-8 months in advance, my friends. Every family knows countless difficulties in the wake of Corona. In the midst of these difficulties, we have completed this project ahead of time.

There is also a huge challenge before the new India. If attention is not paid now, it can cause a lot of damage to the youth of India and today’s generation. Your present will go astray and your future will be confined to darkness, friends. That’s why it’s important to wake up now. Nowadays, every effort is being made in our country to introduce the culture of collecting votes by distributing freebies. This culture of freebies is very dangerous for the development of the country. The people of the country and especially my youth need to be very careful of this freebies culture. The people following this culture will never build new expressways, airports or defense corridors for you. They feel that they will buy the people by distributing freebies to them. Together we have to defeat this approach and remove the freebies culture from the politics of the country.

Instead of the freebies culture, we are working to fulfill the aspirations of the people by building roads and new rail routes in the country. We are building crores of pucca houses for the poor, completing unfinished irrigation projects for decades, constructing many small and big dams, setting up new electricity plants so that the life of the poor and the farmer becomes easier and the future of the youth of my country is not shrouded in darkness.

Today I will also tell you one more thing. Balanced development of the country and access to modern facilities even in small towns and villages also amounts to social justice in true sense. The people of eastern India and the people of Bundelkhand were denied facilities for decades. Today when modern infrastructure is being developed there, social justice is also being ensured. When development is taking place in the districts of UP, which were left on their own as backward, it is also a kind of social justice. Steps such as connecting villages with roads, providing cooking gas connection to every household, constructing pucca houses for the poor and building toilets will also strengthen social justice. The people of Bundelkhand are also benefiting a lot from the social justice initiatives of our government.

Our government is working continuously to mitigate another hardship of Bundelkhand. We are working on the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide piped water to every household. Under this mission, water connections have been given to lakhs of families of Bundelkhand. Our mothers and sisters have benefited a great deal because of this and their hardships have reduced. We are constantly making efforts to take the water of rivers in Bundelkhand to as many people as possible. Ratoli Dam Project, Bhavni Dam Project and Majhgaon-Chilli Sprinkler Irrigation Project are the result of such efforts. Thousands of crores of rupees have been approved for the Ken-Betwa Link Project. This is going to change the life of a large part of Bundelkhand.

I would like to make another request to the friends of Bundelkhand. On the occasion of 75 years of independence, the country has taken a pledge to build Amrit Sarovars. Seventy-five Amrit Sarovar will also be built in every district of Bundelkhand. This is great work being done for water security and for the future generations. Today I urge all of you to come forward in maximum numbers to help in this noble cause. A village-to-village wire service campaign should be launched for Amrit Sarovar.

The cottage industries also have great potential for the development of Bundelkhand. This cottage industry tradition is also being emphasized by our government for AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Make in India is going to be empowered by this cottage industry tradition of India. Today I want to share an example with you and the countrymen as to how small efforts are making a huge impact.

India has been importing toys worth crores of rupees every year from other countries of the world. Now you tell me that even small toys for little children were brought from outside. While toy making has been a family and traditional industry in India, it has been a family business. In view of that, I had urged the toy industry in India to work afresh. I also made an appeal to people to buy Indian toys. We did whatever was required to be done at the government level in such a short time. Today every Indian will be proud and this is an example of how the people of my country embrace the truth wholeheartedly. The result of all this was that today the number of toys coming from abroad has come down to a great extent. I express my gratitude to the countrymen. Now a large quantity of toys is being exported from India. Who has benefited from this? Most of our toy makers are poor, Dalit, backward and tribal families. Our women are also involved in making toys. All these people have benefited from this industry. Jhansi, Chitrakoot and Bundelkhand have a very rich tradition of toys. These too are being promoted by the double-engine government.

(Excerpts of PM’s address at inauguration of Bundelkhand Expressway at Jalaun in Uttar Pradesh on July 16, 2022)

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