Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM's address at inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremony of various development projects in Assam

Posted On: 22 FEB 2021 4:02PM by PIB Delhi

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

I welcome and extend my best wishes to the people of Assam on this special occasion from the land of Dhemaji.

Present on the dais, the Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi ji, the popular and celebrated Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal ji, my colleaguesin the Union Council of Ministers, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji and Shri Rameswar Teli ji, Minister of Government of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma ji, other ministers of the State Government, MPs, MLAs and my dear brothers and sisters from Assam who have come in large numbers.

It is my privilege that I am visiting Dhemaji for the third time and meeting all of you and every time the intimacy, warmth and the blessings of the people here inspire me to work more and something new for Assam and the North East. When I came here to lay the foundation stone of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute at Gogamukh, I said that North East will become a new engine of India's growth. Today we can see the reflection of that faith.

Brothers and sisters,

Eight decades ago, Assamese cinema started its journey from the North Bank of the Brahmaputra with the film ‘Joymoti’. The region has given many personalities to enhance the pride of the culture of Assam. Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Natasurya Phani Sarma, all of them took the identity of Assam to new heights. Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhupen Hazarika ji had once written: लुइतुर पार दुटि जिलिक उठिब राति, ज्बलि हत देवालीर बन्ति। i.e., both the banks of the Brahmaputra will be illuminated like the lighting of lamps in Diwali.And yesterday I saw, especially in the social media, how you celebrated Diwali here by lighting thousands of lamps. The light of lamps reflects the picture of development in Assam amidst peace and stability. The Centre and the Assam government are committed for a balanced development in Assam. And a major foundation of this development is the infrastructure of Assam.

Friends,

Despite the abundant potential in the North Bank, the earlier governments meted step-motherly treatment to the region. Connectivity, hospitals, educational institutions and industries did not figure in the priority of the earlier governments. Ours and Sarbananda ji government, which are working on the mantra of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas, ended this discrimination. Our government expedited the work of the Bogibeel Bridge, which the region had been waiting for years. The broad gauge railway line reached the North Bank only after the formation of our government. Kalibhumura Bridge, the second over the Brahmaputra, will further enhance the region’s connectivity.It is also being implemented expeditiously. The work of a four-lane national highway in the North Bank is also progressing rapidly. Only last week, several new projects related to the region’s waterway connectivity from the Mahabahu Brahmaputra have started. Work on a large terminal and logistics park at Jogighopa in Bongaigaon has also commenced.

Friends,

As part of this series, Assam is getting a new gift of more than 3,000 crore worth energy and education infrastructure projects today.  Whether it is engineering colleges at Dhemaji and Sualkuchi, expansion of the refinery at Bongaigaon, the secondary tank farm at Dibrugarh or the gas compressor station at Tinsukia, these projects will empower the identity of the region as a hub of energy and education. These projects are also symbols of empowerment of Assam as well as the eastern India.

Friends,

On the path of self-reliance, it is very important for India to continuously increase its potential and capabilities. In the last few years, we have substantially increased the oil storage capacity in India for refining and emergencies.Refining capacity has also been increased at Bongaigaon refinery. The gas unit that has been launched today is going to increase the capacity of LPG production here. All these projects will facilitate the lives of the people in Assam and the North-East and also enhance employment opportunities for the youth.

Brothers and sisters,

When a person gets basic amenities, his confidence grows immensely. The growing confidence also develops the region and the country as well. Today, our government is trying to reach out to those people and areas where facilities did not exist earlier. Now, the administration has emphasised on providing facilities to them. Earlier, people were left on their own.Just imagine, only 50-55 householdsout of every 100 households in the country i.e., about half of them had LPG gas connections before 2014. Despite refineries and other facilities, only 40 people out of 100 people had gas connections in Assam. Sixty percent of people did not have it. The poor sisters and daughters were compelled to live in the web of kitchen smoke and diseases. We have changed this situation through the Ujjwala Yojana. In Assam, the coverage of gas connection is about 100 per cent today. LPG connections have increased by more than three times in the districts around the Bongaigaon refineryafter 2014. This year’s Union budget provides for free LPG connections to one crore more poor sisters.

Friends,

The poor and the small farmers of the country suffer the most due to the paucity of gas connection, electricity connection and manure production. Most of the 18,000 villages which did not have electricityeven after decades of independencewere from Assam, North East. Many fertilizer factories in eastern India were either closed or declared sick for want of gas. Who had to suffer? They were the poor, the middle class people and the youngsters from here.  Our government is trying to rectify earlier mistakes. Today,the eastern India is being connected through one of the largest gas pipelines in the worldunder the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojana. If the policy is correct and intentions are clear, intentions also change and so does destiny.  Bad intentions are eliminated and destiny also changes the fortune of the people. Today, the gas pipeline network that is being developed, optical fibre that is being laid in every village, pipes that are being laid to provide water to every household, all these infrastructure that is being laid in the lap of Mother India is not just iron pipe or fibre. These are the new destiny lines of Mother Bharat.

Brothers and sisters,

Our scientists, engineers and technicians have a big role to give a fillip to Atmanirbhar Bharat. Over the years, we have been working to create an environment in the country where the youth of the country should solve the problems in a new innovative way, through start-ups. Today, the whole world is recognizing the talent of India's engineers and technocrats. The youth of Assam have tremendous potential. The state government is committed to increasing this capacity. More than 20 engineering colleges are here because of the efforts of the Assam government. With the dedication of Dhemaji Engineering College to the nation and laying of the foundation stone of Sualkuchi Engineering College, the situation is getting further reinforced. Dhemaji Engineering College is the first engineering college in the North Bank. I am told that the process of building three more engineering colleges is in the pipeline. Whether it is special colleges, polytechnic colleges or other institutionsfor daughters, the government of Assam is working on a large scale.

Brothers and sisters,

The Assam government is also trying to implement the new national education policy at the earliest. The new National Education Policy is going to benefit Assam, its tribal society and the children of my labour brothers and sisters working in tea plantations. That is because it emphasizes studies in local language and skill building associated with local professions. When medical or technical education is imparted in the local language, the children of the poorest will also become doctors and engineers and benefit the country. The poorest of the poor will be able to realize the dreams of their parents. States like Assam which boasts of tea, tourism, handloom and handicraft are the great strengths of self-reliance. The youth here are going to benefit greatly when they learn these skills in schools and colleges. The foundation of self-reliance will be laid there. This year's budget also provides for opening of hundreds of new Eklavya model schools in tribal areas, which will also benefit Assam.

Friends,

With the blessings of the Brahmaputra, the land of this region is very fertile. The state and the central governments are working together to ensure that farmers here can increase their potential, get modern farming facilities and increase their incomes. Keeping every need of the farmers in mind, work is being done whether it is the transfer of money to their bank accounts directly, or the start of a pension scheme or to provide them good seeds, or soil health cards. With special emphasis on fisheries, our government has already created a separate fisheries ministry. Our government is now spending more than what has not been spent since independence to promote fisheries. A huge scheme of Rs. 20,000 crore has also been formulated for the fish business, which will also benefit the brothers associated with the fisheries in Assam. It is the endeavour of the government that the produce of the farmers of Assam and the country have access to the international market. For this, the laws relating to agriculture have also been reformed.

Friends,

North Bank's tea gardens also have a very big role in the economy of Assam. One of the top priorities of our government is to facilitate the life of our brothers and sisters working in these tea gardens. I compliment the government of Assam for launching a campaign to lease land to small tea growers.

Brothers and sisters,

Those who ruled the country for decades had assumed that Dispur is far away from Delhi. This mindset caused a lot of damage to Assam. But now Delhi is not far away from you. Delhi is standing at your doorstep. The ministers of the central government have been sent here hundreds of times in the last few years so that they can understand your difficulties and monitor the ongoing work. We have endeavoured to prepare schemes keeping in view your needs. I have also come to Assam many times so that I can also become a participant in your development journey also. Assam has everything that every citizen here needs for a better life. Now, what is needed is that you have the opportunity to further strengthen the double engine of development and progress. I assure the people of Assam that with your cooperation and blessings, the development of Assam will speed up and Assam will reach new heights of development.

Brothers and sisters,

I know you are waiting for the election. As far as I remember the last time the election was announced, it was probably on the fourth of March. This time also, I see the possibility of announcement ofthe electionsanytime in the first week of March. It is the job of the Election Commission. But I will try to go to Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherryas many times as I can before the elections are announced. For example, if the elections are announced on March 7th or somewhere during that time, because it was announced on March 4th last time, then I will try my best to come here as many times before elections are announced. And brothers and sisters, today you have blessed us by coming in such a large number, you have strengthened our faith in the journey of development and I express my heartfelt gratitude for this. Once again I congratulate the fishermen, farmers, mothers and sisters, my tribal brothers and sisters of Assam for the number of projects that were launched or foundation of which was laid today for making Assam self-reliant, for the contribution of Assam to building India and the bright future of the young generation of Assam.I convey my best wishes. Clench your both fists and speak with me with full strength Bharat Mata KiJai, Bharat Mata KiJai, Bharat Mata KiJai.

 

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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DS/AKJ/VK/AK



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