Guwahati (Assam), Apr 14 : Prime Minister, Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation various projects worth more than Rs. 10,900 crores at Sarusajai Stadium , here today.
The projects include laying the foundation stone of a bridge connecting Palashbari and Sualkuchi on the Brahmaputra river, a project for the beautification of Rang Ghar in Sivasagar, the inauguration of a 500 TPD Menthol Plant in Namrup and dedicating to the nation five railway projects. The Prime Minister also witnessed a colorful Bihu programme performed by more than ten thousand Bihu dancers.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister remarked that anybody watching today’s magnificent spectacle would never forget this in his entire lifetime. “It is beyond imagination, it is phenomenal. This is Assam” the Prime Minister said, “The sound of dhols, pepas and gogonas can be heard all over India today. The efforts and synergy of thousands of artists from Assam are being witnessed by the country as well as the world with great pride.” Highlighting the significance of the occasion, the Prime Minister applauded the spirits and enthusiasm of the artists. The Prime Minister recalled his visit to the state during the Vidhan Sabha elections when he had remarked about the day when people will voice ‘A for Assam’, and said that the state is finally becoming an A1 state. The Prime Minister conveyed his greetings to the people of Assam and the country on the occasion of Bihu.
The Prime Minister said that Baisakhi is being celebrated in north Indian states including Punjab. While Bangla people are celebrating Poila Baisakh, Vishu will be celebrated in Kerala. This festival that is being celebrated, he said. reflect the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, and is an inspiration to fulfil the resolution of Viksit Bharat with Sabka Prayas. He expressed happiness about the many projects of today including AIIMS, three medical colleges, railways projects, bridge across the Brahmaputra and methanol plant and the redevelopment and beautification of Rang Ghar.
The Prime Minister lauded the people of Assam for preserving their culture and praised the magnificent programme that they mounted today. “Our festivals are not just cultural extravaganza but are a medium to unite everyone and inspiration to move forward together”, the Prime Minister said. He continued “Rongali Bihu is a festival of heart and soul for the people of Assam. Removes differences and is a symbol of perfect harmony between humans and nature.”
The Prime Minister remarked that the speciality of India is its traditions which have been connecting every Indian together for thousands of years. He observed that the nation stood together as one against the dark times of slavery and suffered numerous inflictions on India’s culture and heritage. He emphasized that India remained immortal even though it saw numerous changes in powers and rulers who came and left. “The consciousness of every Indian is made from the soil and traditions of the country and it is also the foundation of the Viksit Bharat”, the Prime Minister remarked.
Recalling a song Biswa Bijoy Nojawan from noted writer and cinema personality Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, the Prime Minister said that this song has become a source of inspiration for the youth of Assam and the entire India. PM Modi narrated the song to massive applause from the people present. He explained that the song exhorts the youth of India to listen to the call of Mother India and be the agent of change. “This song was written when Independent India was the biggest dream, today when we are free, Viksit Bharat is the biggest dream” the Prime Minister exclaimed calling upon the youth of India and Assam to move forward and open the doors of Viksit Bharat.
Dwelling on his conversations with people about how he achieves such huge targets and who is responsible for Vikist Bharat, the Prime Prime Minister said that it is the belief in the people of the country, and the 140 crore Indian citizens. He highlighted that the government strives to remove any obstacles that come in the way of the citizen with utmost honesty and the projects of today are a shining example of this.
The Prime Minister recalled that for a very long time, connectivity was thought of in the very narrow sense of going from one point to the other. Today, the Prime Minister said that the entire approach towards connectivity has been changed. Today, connectivity is a four-pronged enterprise (Mahayagya), he said. These four dimensions, he said are – physical connectivity, digital connectivity, social connectivity and cultural connectivity.
Talking about cultural connectivity, PM Modi gave the example of the grand celebration of the 400th year of the great Assamese warrior Lachit Borphukan in Delhi. He illustrated cultural connectivity by talking about Rani Gaidinliu, Kashi Tamil Sangamam, Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam, and Kedarnath-Kamakhya. “Today the connection is being deepened between every thought and culture”, he said. He referred to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s recent visit to Madhavpur Mela and said that this bond of Krishna Rukmani connects Northeast to Western India. He also said that after Muga Silk, Tezpur Lesu, Joha Rice, Boka Chaul, Kaji Nemu; now Gamosa also got the GI tag, This is an attempt to take the Assamese art and labor enterprise of our sisters to the rest of the country, he added.
Noting that the conversations about different cultures of India are taking place all around the world through tourism, the Prime Minister said that the tourists who visit these places not just spend money on the experience but also take a part of the culture with themselves as memories. However, the Prime Minister continued, there was always the issue of lack of physical connectivity in the Northeast which is being addressed by the present government by laying emphasis on road, rail and air connectivity in the region. Highlighting the achievements in expanding connectivity in the last 9 years, the Prime Minister mentioned all-road connectivity to most of the villages in the Northeast, new airports that have become functional and commercial flights landing for the first time, broad gauge trains reaching Manipur and Tripura, new rail lines are being laid in the Northeast three times faster than before, and the doubling of rail lines taking place at almost 10 times faster than earlier. The Prime Minister highlighted that 5 railway projects that have been inaugurated today worth more than 6,000 crore rupees will accelerate the development of a large part of the region including Assam. The Prime Minister further added that rail has reached a large part of Assam for the first time and the doubling of rail lines will provide easy connectivity to Assam as well as Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland. He also noted that traveling to places of faith and tourism will now become easy.
The Prime Minister recalled when he came for the dedication of Bogibeel Bridge and also of The Dhola-Sadiya – Bhupen Hazarika Bridge. He highlighted the speed and scale of new projects in the last 9 years. He said the network of bridges over Brahmaputra was the result of the work done in the last 9 years and these bridges along with today’s bridge project will benefit the Khualkusi silk industry.
Throwing light on the work done by the double-engine government to enhance social connectivity in the last 9 years, the Prime Minister gave examples of the Swachh Bharat Mission which resulted in lakhs of villages becoming open defecation free, the PM Awas Yojana which helped in providing houses to crores of people, Saubhagya Yojana for electricity, the Ujjwala Yojana for gas cylinders, and the Jal Jeevan Mission for tapped water supply. The Prime Minister also mentioned the Digital India Mission and cheap data that has eased the lives of citizens. “All these houses, all these families represent aspirational India. These are the strengths of India which will make the dream of a developed India come true”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that for development, the thread of trust should be equally strong. He said “Due to the efforts of our government, today there is permanent peace everywhere in the Northeast. Many youths have left the path of violence and started walking on the path of development. The atmosphere of mistrust in the Northeast is going away, the distance between hearts is disappearing.” He concluded, “In order to build a developed India in the Amrit Kaal of independence, we have to enhance this atmosphere. We have to move forward with the spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas”
Governor of Assam, Gulab Chand Kataria, Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union Minister for Railways, shwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli and Minister from Government of Assam were present on the occasion among others.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a bridge connecting Palashbari and Sualkuchi on the Brahmaputra river. The bridge will provide much-needed connectivity in the region. He also commissioned a 500 TPD Methanol plant at Namrup in Dibrugarh. He will also inaugurate five railway projects including the doubling and electrification of various sections in the region.
The railway projects being inaugurated include Digaru – Lumding section; Gauripur – Abhayapuri Section; Doubling of New Bongaigaon – Dhup Dhara section; Electrification of Raninagar Jalpaiguri – Guwahati section; Electrification of Senchoa – Silghat Town and Senchoa – Mairabari section.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the project for the beautification of Rang Ghar in Sivasagar, which will enhance tourist amenities at the location. The project for the beautification of Rang Ghar will provide facilities like a fountain show built around a huge water body and showcasing the history of the Ahom dynasty, a boat house with a jetty for adventurous boat rides, an artisan village for the promotion of local handicrafts, diverse ethnic cuisines for food lovers etc. Rang Ghar located in Sivasagar is one of the most iconic structures to depict the Ahom cultures and traditions. It was built by the Ahom King, Swargadeo Pramatta Singha in the 18th Century.
The Prime Minister also witnessed a mega Bihu dance which has been organized in order to globally showcase the Bihu dance of Assam as a mascot of the cultural identity and life of the Assamese people. This event would feature more than 10,000 Bihu Artists in a single venue and would attempt a New Guinness World Record in the category of largest Bihu dance performance in the world in a single venue. It will feature artists from across the 31 districts of the state.
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