“Development is the key to Atmanirbharat as it will enhance the facilities as well as give an access to Indian Entrepreneurs in terms of good connectivity, cheap transportation and many such advantages” Dr E Muthuraman- Chairman MSME Promotion Council
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation various projects at Alstrom Cricket Ground in Chennai, Tamil Nadu today. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister inaugurated the New Integrated Terminal Building (Phase- 1) of Chennai International Airport and flagged off the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express in Chennai.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that Tamil Nadu is the home of history and heritage, the land of language and literature. Highlighting that many of our freedom fighters are from Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister said that the state is a center of patriotism and national consciousness. The Prime Minister noted that Tamil Nadu Puthandu is around the corner and said that it is the time for new energy, hope, aspirations and new beginnings. “Many new infrastructure projects will begin to serve the people from today while some will witness their beginnings”, the Prime Minister said as he remarked that the new projects related to railways, roadways and airways will add to the new year celebrations.
The Prime Minister highlighted that India has been witnessing an infrastructure revolution driven by speed and scale. Referring to scale, he informed that Rs 10 lakh crores have been earmarked for infrastructure development in this year’s Budget which is a five-time increase from the budget in 2014 while the fund allocation for rail infrastructure is at a record high. Touching upon speed, the Prime Minister informed that since 2014, the length of National Highways added per year has doubled, electrification of rail lines per year has increased from 600 route kilometers to 4000 route kilometers, and the number of airports has increased from 74 to almost 150. Referring to Tamil Nadu’s vast coastline that is beneficial for trade, the Prime Minister informed that the capacity augmentation of ports has also doubled since 2014.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the social and digital infrastructure of the nation and informed that the number of medical colleges in the country has increased from 380 before 2014 to 660 today. In the last nine years, the Prime Minister continued, the country has tripled the number of apps produced, become the world’s number one in digital transactions, is amongst the world’s most inexpensive mobile data, and laid more than 6 lakh kilometers of optic fiber connecting almost 2 lakh gram panchayats. “Today, India has more internet users than urban users”, he added.
The Prime Minister remarked that the positive changes were a result of changes in work culture and vision. He pointed out that earlier, infrastructure projects meant delays but now it means delivery and this journey from delays to delivery is a result of the work culture. The Prime Minister emphasized that the government feels accountable for every rupee that the taxpayers pay while working to achieve results even before the specified deadlines. Throwing light on the difference in vision from previous governments, the Prime Minister said that infrastructure is not just seen as concrete, bricks and cement but with a human face that connects aspiration with achievement, people with possibilities, and dreams with reality.
Giving the example of today’s project, the Prime Minister highlighted that one of the roadways projects connects the cotton farmers of Virudhunagar and Tenkasi with other markets, the Vande Bharat Express between Chennai and Coimbatore connects small businesses with customers, and the new terminal of Chennai airport brings the world to Tamil Nadu. He further added that it will bring investments which will create new income opportunities for the youth here. “It’s not just the vehicles that gain speed, but people’s dreams and the spirit of enterprise also gain speed. The economy gets a boost”, the Prime Minister said as he highlighted that each infrastructure project transforms the lives of crores of families.
“Tamil Nadu’s development is of great priority to the government”, the Prime Minister said as he informed that the state has been allocated an all-time high of over Rs 6,000 crores for rail infrastructure in this year’s Budget. He further added that the average amount allocated per year during 2009-2014 was less than Rs 900 crores. Between 2004 and 2014, the Prime Minister continued, the length of national highways added in Tamil Nadu was about 800 kilometers but, nearly 2000 kilometers of national highways were added between 2014 and 2023. Touching upon the investment in the development and maintenance of national highways in Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister said that in 2014-15, around Rs 1200 crores were spent whereas, in 2022-23, it increased 6-fold, to over Rs 8200 crores.
The Prime Minister highlighted the number of important projects in Tamil Nadu in the last few years and gave the example of the Defence Industrial Corridor strengthening India’s security, PM MITRA mega textile parks, and laying the foundation stone for the Bengaluru-Chennai expressway. He further added that the construction of a multi-modal logistics park near Chennai is also underway while the entire East Coast Road from Mamallapuram to Kanyakumari is being improved under the Bharatmala project.
The Prime Minister noted that the three important cities Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore are being directly benefited by the projects being inaugurated or started. He mentioned the New Integrated Terminal Building inaugurated at the Chennai International Airport and said that it will cater to the growing passenger demand. The Prime Minister said the design of the airport reflects the beauty of Tamil culture. “Be it the design of the roof, flooring, ceilings or murals, each of them reminds of some aspect of Tamil Nadu.” He also added that while tradition shines in the airport, it is also built for the modern needs of sustainability. He mentioned that it has been built using eco-friendly materials and also uses many green techniques such as LED lighting and solar energy. He also touched upon the newly flagged off Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express and said that this pride in ‘Made In India’ is natural in the land of the great VO Chidambaram Pillai.
Noting that Coimbatore has been an industrial powerhouse, whether it is the textile sector, MSMEs or industries, the Prime Minister said that modern connectivity will only increase the productivity of its people and informed that the journey between Chennai and Coimbatore will only be around 6 hours due to the Vande Bharat Express. It will also benefit textile and industrial hubs like Salem, Erode and Tirupur, he added. Referring to Madurai, the Prime Minister said that the city is the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu and one of the most ancient cities in the world. He added that the projects of today will boost the modern infrastructure of this ancient city.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister reiterated that Tamil Nadu is one of India’s growth engines. “When top-quality infrastructure creates jobs here, incomes rise and Tamil Nadu grows. When Tamil Nadu grows, India grows”, the Prime Minister said.
Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri R N Ravi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M K Stalin and the Union Minister for Railways, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shri L Murugan, Member of Parliament from Sriperumbudur, Shri T. R. Baalu and Ministers from Government of Tamil Nadu were present on the occasion among others.
The Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of road projects worth about Rs 3700 crores. The Prime Minister inaugurated the 7.3 km long Elevated Corridor in Madurai City and the 24.4 km long four-lane road of National Highway 785. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the construction of road projects of National Highway-744. The project worth more than Rs. 2400 Crore will boost inter-state connectivity between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and ensure a convenient journey for pilgrims visiting Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Andal Temple in Srivilliputhur and Sabarimala in Kerala.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated the 37-kilometer gauge conversion section between Thiruthuraipoondi and Agasthiyampalli, which has been completed at a cost of Rs 294 Crores. This will benefit the movement of edible and industrial salt from Agasthiyampalli in Nagapattinam district.
The Prime Minister also flagged off the Express service between Tambaram and Sengottai. He also flagged off a Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) service from Thiruthuraipoondi – Agasthiyampalli, which will benefit commuters from Coimbatore, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts.
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