The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 12,100 crores in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh today.
The projects include the dedication of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Junction - Son Nagar railway line of Dedicated Freight Corridor, three railway lines whose electrification or doubling has been completed, four-lane widening of Varanasi-Jaunpur section of NH-56, and multiple projects in Varanasi.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for multiple railway projects including the construction and renovation of 15 PWD roads, 192 rural drinking water schemes, redesigning and redevelopment of Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats including floating changing room jetties at six religiously significant bathing ghats and construction of students’ hostel at CIPET campus Karsara.
Shri Modi also initiated the distribution of loans of PM SVANidhi, keys of PMAY Rural houses and Ayushman Bharat cards. Upon arriving at the venue, the Prime Minister took a walkthrough of the model of Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that life becomes a blessing with the beginning of the pious month of Sravan, blessings of Lord Vishwanath, and Maa Ganga and the presence of the people of Varanasi.
The Prime Minister noted that thousands of Shiva devotees are turning up to Varanasi to offer ‘Jal’ and said that it is certain that the city will witness a record number of pilgrims. “Those coming to Varanasi always return with a happy feeling”, the Prime Minister said as he highlighted the hospitality of the citizens.
He praised the people of Kashi for welcoming the delegates of G20 and keeping the premises of places of worship clean and grand. Referring to the projects worth about 12000 crore rupees for which foundation stones were laid. “This is an expansion of our resolution of providing a new body to Kashi while retaining its ancient soul”, the Prime Minister said. He congratulated the people for the projects.
The Prime Minister, who had earlier interacted with the beneficiaries of various schemes, said that during the earlier times, the schemes were not connected with the grassroots. He said that the current government has started a new tradition of dialogue and interaction with the beneficiaries, meaning ‘direct benefit as well as direct feedback”.
This has resulted in better performances by the departments and officers, he added. “So many years after Independence, the true benefit of democracy has reached the correct people in the true sense”, the Prime Minister continued.
The Prime Minister underlined that the beneficiary class has become an example of the truest form of social justice and secularism as the Government strives to take the benefits to the last man in every scheme. This approach, the Prime Minister said, has led to the culling of commission seekers, brokers and scamsters thereby eliminating corruption and discrimination.
In the last 9 years, the Prime Minister said, the Government has not worked just for one family and a single generation but worked towards improving the lives of future generations as well. He gave the example of PMAY where more than 4 crore families have been handed pucca homes and mentioned that 4 lakh pucca homes have been delivered to beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh today.
“These homes instill a feeling of security and boost the self-confidence of the owners”, the Prime Minister said as he highlighted that most of the homeowners are women who have had a property registered in their names for the first time. He said that these pucca houses provide a means of financial security to such women.
Continuing with the impact of the government schemes, the Prime Minister pointed out that Ayushman Bharat Scheme also is not limited to just free treatment worth 5 lakh, it impacts multiple generations as medical expenses can push generations into penury and debt.
“Ayushman Yojana is protecting poor people from this fate. That is why, I am striving so hard to ensure the availability of the card to every poor in a mission mode, he said. Today’s event witnessed the start of the distribution of Ayushman Bharat Cards to one crore sixty lakh people.
“The biggest claim on the resources of a nation is of the poor and deprived”, the Prime Minister said, mentioning the steps of financial inclusion like 50 crore Jan Dhan Accounts, and loans without collateral under Mudra Scheme. This has benefited the poor, dalit, deprived, backward, tribal, minorities and women entrepreneurs.
The Prime Minister touched upon PM SVANidhi and said that even though most of the street vendors hail from backward communities, the Governments from the past never addressed their issues and only harassed them.
The Prime Minister informed that more than 35 lakh people have benefitted from PM SVANidhi Yojna so far, and today, loans have been disbursed to more than 1.25 lakh beneficiaries in Varanasi. “Self-respect for the poor is Modi’s guarantee”, the Prime Minister exclaimed.
The Prime Minister highlighted the basic dishonesty of the previous regimes leading to perpetual deficiency of funds. Today, he said, “Whether it is Gareeb Kalyan or infrastructure, there is no shortage of budget. The same tax-payer, the same system, just the government has changed.
As intentions changed, results also followed”, he said. News of scams and black marketing of the past have been replaced by the news of dedication and foundation stones of new projects. He gave the example of the Eastern Dedicated freight corridor, a project for a special track for goods trains, as an example of this change.
He informed that the project conceived in 2006, did not see even a single kilometer long track till 2014. In the last 9 years, a significant part of the project has been completed and goods trains are operating in that area. “Even today, the new Sonnagar section from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction has been inaugurated.
This will not only increase the speed of goods trains but many new employment opportunities will be created in Purvanchal and Eastern India”, he added. Underlining the country’s desire for fast-running trains, the Prime Minister informed that even though the Rajdhani Express ran for the first time in the country about 50 years ago, it could run only on 16 routes today.
He also gave the example of Shatabdi Express which began 30-35 years ago but is currently running on 19 routes only. The Prime Minister highlighted the Vande Bharat Express and informed that the train is running on 25 routes in a short span of 4 years. “Banaras has the claim for the country's first Vande Bharat”, the Prime Minister added.
He informed that two new Vande Bharat Express trains have been flagged off from Gorakhpur today on Gorakhpur – Lucknow and Jodhpur – Ahmedabad routes. “This Vande Bharat has become such a superhit among the middle class of the country and its demand is only increasing”, Shri Modi said.
He expressed confidence that the day is not far when Vande Bharat will connect every corner of the country.Throwing light on the unprecedented work carried out to improve the connectivity of Kashi in the last 9 years, the Prime Minister underlined that it has created many new employment opportunities.
He noted that 7 crore tourists and devotees came to Kashi which was a 12-fold rise within one year, thereby creating better opportunities for income from rickshaw pullers, the shopkeepers, to people working in dhabas and hotels and Banarasi saree industry.
He also pointed out that the oarsmen have benefited a lot and expressed amazement at the number of boats during the Ganga Aarti in the evening. “You people keep taking care of Banaras like this”, he said. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone for today’s project and expressed confidence that the development journey of Varanasi will continue with Baba's blessings.
Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Ms Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya and Shri Brajesh Pathak, Union Minister for Heavy Industries, Shri Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Prof S P Singh Baghel, and Minister of Uttar Pradesh Government among others were present on the occasion.
PM dedicated Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Junction - Son Nagar railway line of Dedicated Freight Corridor. Built at a cost of more than Rs 6760 crores, the new line will facilitate faster and more efficient movement of goods.
He also dedicated to the nation three railway lines whose electrification or doubling has been completed at a cost of more than Rs 990 crores. These include Ghazipur city - Aunrihar rail line, Aunrihar- Jaunpur rail line and Bhatni- Aunrihar rail line. These projects have helped in achieving 100 percent electrification of railway lines in Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister dedicated to the nation, the four-lane widening of the Varanasi - Jaunpur section of NH-56, which has been completed at a cost of more than Rs 2750 crore making travel from Varanasi to Lucknow easier and faster;
Among the multiple projects in Varanasi that will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister include the construction and renovation of 18 PWD roads.
International Girls Hostel building constructed at BHU campus; Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET)- Vocational Training Centre at village Karsara; Residential buildings and amenities in Police station Sindhaura, PAC Bhullanpur, Fire station Pindra and Govt residential school Tarsada; Economic Offences Research Organization building.
Sewer line from Mohan Katra to Konia Ghat and a modern septage management system in village Ramna; 30 double-sided backlit LED unipoles; a cow dung-based bio-gas plant at NDDB Milk plant Ramnagar; and a unique floating changing rooms jetty at Dashashwamedh ghat which will facilitate the bathing of devotees in river Ganga.
The projects whose foundation stones were laid by the Prime Minister include the construction of 3 two-lane rail over bridge (ROB) near Chaukhandi, Kadipur and Hardattpur railway stations; the construction of Vyasnagar - Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Junction rail flyover; and construction and renovation of 15 PWD roads. These projects will be developed at a cumulative cost of about Rs 780 crores.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of 192 rural drinking water schemes, to be built at a cost of more than Rs 550 crores under the Jal Jeevan Mission. It will provide pure drinking water to 7 lakh people in 192 villages.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for redesigning and redevelopment of Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats. The redevelopment ghats will have provisions for public conveniences, waiting areas, wood storage, waste disposal and eco-friendly cremation pyres.
Other projects whose foundation stones were laid include floating changing room jetties at six religiously significant bathing ghats on the river Ganges in Varanasi on the lines of floating changing room jetties of Dashashwamedh Ghat and the construction of students hostel at CIPET campus Karsara.
During the programme, the Prime Minister also distributed the loans of PMSVANidhi, keys of PMAY Rural houses and Ayushman Bharat cards to the beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh. This will kickstart the Grih Pravesh of 5 lakh PMAY beneficiaries, the distribution of 1.25 lakh PMSVANidhi loans to eligible beneficiaries and the distribution of 2.88 crores Ayushman cards.