Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the cornerstone for various projects worth around Rs 7.500 crores and dedicated them in key sectors like Infrastructure, Connectivity, Railways, and Healthcare to give a major boost to the growth of the Chattisgarh.
Among the highlights of the event, the Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stone for five National Highway projects valued at around Rs 6,400 crores. These projects will enhance the road connectivity in the state and contribute to smoother transportation of goods and people. Additionally, he inaugurated the doubling of the 103 km Raipur-Khariar Road Rail Line, completed at a cost of Rs 750 crores, which will bolster the railway connectivity in the region.
Furthermore, a 17 km new railway line connecting Keoti to Antagarh was inaugurated, with an expenditure of Rs 290 crores. The Prime Minister also unveiled a bottling plant of the Indian Oil Corporation in Korba, constructed at a cost of over Rs 130 crores, with a production capacity of 60 thousand metric tons per annum. In a technologically connected gesture, he flagged off the Antagarh-Raipur Train via video link.
The Prime Minister highlighted the significance of these projects in improving the lives of the people and strengthening the healthcare system in Chhattisgarh. He emphasized the employment opportunities that would arise from these initiatives and how they would benefit paddy farmers, the mineral industry, and the tourism sector. Moreover, he expressed his belief that the projects would bring about a new era of development and convenience in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, offering his congratulations to the people of the state.
Recognizing the importance of infrastructure development, Prime Minister Modi emphasized its role in improving the quality of life and facilitating business growth. He cited the remarkable progress made in Chhattisgarh in the last nine years, particularly in terms of road connectivity. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana, thousands of tribal villages have gained access to roads, benefiting from improved connectivity.
The Prime Minister further revealed that the government has approved approximately 3,500 km of National Highway projects, with around 3,000 km already completed. He cited the inauguration of the Raipur-Kodebod and Bilaspur-Pathrapali highways during the event. He stated that the government’s relentless efforts have resulted in enhanced connectivity in Chhattisgarh, spanning rail, road, and telecom sectors.
Prime Minister Modi emphasized that modern infrastructure also contributes to social justice. He emphasized the impact of today’s projects, which include roads and railway lines connecting marginalized communities, enabling improved access to hospitals for patients and women.
He highlighted the substantial progress in mobile connectivity, reducing the number of villages in Chhattisgarh without coverage from over 20 percent to around 6 percent. The improved connectivity has particularly benefited farmers and laborers, with the Prime Minister noting that many of these villages were previously affected by Naxalite violence.
The Prime Minister commended the establishment of economic corridors that will transform the region’s fortunes. He mentioned the Raipur-Dhanbad Economic Corridor and the Raipur-Visakhapatnam Economic Corridor, which are expected to boost regional connectivity. The latter, whose foundation stone was laid today, will significantly reduce travel time between Raipur and Visakhapatnam. Additionally, it will connect the agricultural belt of Dhamtari, the bauxite belt of Kanker, and the handicrafts hub of Kondagaon to other parts of the country. The Prime Minister also acknowledged the construction of tunnels and animal passes along the road, ensuring minimal disruption to wildlife.
Underscoring the government’s commitment to promoting industries in regions rich in natural resources, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the increase in revenue to Chhattisgarh, including a rise in royalty funds. He highlighted the positive impact of the District Mineral Fund, which has been utilized to develop schools, libraries, roads, and water arrangements in districts with mineral wealth.
The Prime Minister reiterated the government’s focus on empowering the poor, farmers, and laborers. He highlighted the deposits of over Rs 6,000 crores into more than 1.6 crore Jan Dhan accounts in Chhattisgarh, which now serve as a crucial financial resource for the disadvantaged. The Jan Dhan accounts have facilitated direct assistance from the government to the poor.
Prime Minister Modi emphasized the support provided to the youth through initiatives like the Mudra Yojana, which has disbursed over Rs 40,000 crores to Chhattisgarh’s tribal youths and those from economically underprivileged backgrounds. Additionally, he mentioned the special schemes launched to assist small industries during the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic, benefitting around 2 lakh enterprises in Chhattisgarh.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the PM Swanidhi Yojana, which offers collateral-free loans to street vendors, benefiting more than 60,000 beneficiaries in Chhattisgarh. He further mentioned the allocation of over Rs 25,000 crores to the state for employment generation through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
Drawing attention to the ongoing distribution of Ayushman cards to 75 lakh beneficiaries, Prime Minister Modi reiterated the government’s commitment to providing free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh annually in over 1,500 prominent hospitals across the state. He expressed satisfaction that the Ayushman Yojana is positively impacting the lives of poor, tribal, backward, and Dalit families. Concluding his address, the Prime Minister assured the people of Chhattisgarh that the government remains dedicated to serving every family with utmost commitment.
The ceremony was attended by esteemed dignitaries, including Governor of Chhattisgarh Biswabhusan Harichandan, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, Deputy Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh T S Singh Deo, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, and Members of Parliament, among others.