Prime Minister's Office
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

English rendering of PM’s address at the laying foundation stone and inauguration of development projects in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep

Posted On: 03 JAN 2024 1:54PM by PIB Delhi

Greetings to the administrator of Lakshadweep, Shri Prabhu Patel ji, the local Member of Parliament, and all my family members in Lakshadweep! Namaskaram!

Ellavarkkum Sukham Aanu Ennu Vishwasikkunnu!

I am very happy seeing the morning in Lakshadweep. Describing the beauty of Lakshadweep in words is very difficult. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to meet all my family members in Agatti, Bangaram, and Kavaratti this time. Although the geographical area of Lakshadweep may be small, the hearts of the people of Lakshadweep are as vast as the sea. I am grateful for your love and blessings.

My family members,

For decades after independence, the governments at the Centre prioritized only the development of their political parties. States that are far away, on the border, or in between the seas were not paid any attention. In the last 10 years, our government has made the areas on the border, the areas at the end of the sea, our priority. Making life easy for every region and every citizen of Bharat, ensuring facilities for them is the priority of the Central Government. Today, the foundation stone and inauguration of projects worth around 1200 crores of rupees have taken place here. These projects are related to the internet, electricity, water, health, and child care. Congratulations to all of you for these development projects.

My family members,

In the last 10 years, the Central Government has left no stone unturned to enhance the ease of living for the people of Lakshadweep. Under the PM Awas Yojana (Gramin), 100% beneficiaries have been covered. Free ration is reaching every beneficiary, and farmer credit cards and Ayushman cards have also been provided. Ayushman Aarogya Mandir and Health and Wellness Centres have also been established here. The government's effort is to ensure that everyone gets the benefits of government schemes. The Central Government is sending money directly to the bank accounts of every beneficiary through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). This has brought transparency and reduced corruption. I assure you that no one who deprives the people of Lakshadweep from their rights would be spared. 

My family members,

In 2020, I guaranteed that high-speed internet would reach you within 1000 days. Today, the inauguration of the Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine Optical Fiber project has taken place. Now, Lakshadweep will also have access to internet at a speed 100 times faster. It will improve government services, healthcare, education, digital banking, and many other facilities. The possibilities of a logistics services hub in Lakshadweep will also receive a boost. Work is also progressing rapidly to provide piped water to every home in Lakshadweep. The new plant that converts saline water into fresh water will further advance this mission. This plant will provide 1.5 lakh litre of drinking water every day. Pilot plants for this are already installed in Kavaratti, Agatti, and Minicoy Island.

My family members,

Friends, I also had the opportunity to meet Ali Manikfan during my visit to Lakshadweep. His research and innovations have brought great prosperity to the entire region. It is a matter of great joy for our government that Ali Manikfan was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2021. The Indian government is creating new avenues for innovation and higher education for the youth. Even today, the youth here have been provided with laptops, and girls received bicycles. For years, Lakshadweep did not have any higher education institution, forcing the youth to go outside for education. Our government has now opened new institutions for higher education in Lakshadweep. New colleges for arts and science have been established in Andrott and Kadmat Islands, and a new polytechnic has been built in Minicoy, which has benefited the students here tremendously.

My family members,

Friends, the efforts made by our government for the convenience of Haj pilgrims have also benefited the people of Lakshadweep. Visa rules for Haj pilgrims have been simplified, and most transactions related to Haj are now digital. Women are now allowed to go on Haj without a Mehram. Due to these efforts, the number of Indian pilgrims going for Umrah has significantly increased.

My family members,

Today, Bharat is trying to increase its share in the global market for the seafood as well. This is benefiting Lakshadweep too. Tuna fish from here are now being transported to Japan. There are numerous possibilities for exporting high-quality fish from here, which can transform the lives of our fishing communities. The potential of seaweed cultivation is also being explored here. While developing Lakshadweep, our government is paying full attention to ensure that its environment is not harmed. The solar power plant built with a battery energy storage system is part of this effort. This is Lakshadweep's first battery-backed solar power project. It will reduce the dependency on diesel for electricity generation, resulting in lower pollution and minimal impact on the marine ecosystem.

My family members,

Lakshadweep has a significant role in the development of ‘Viksit Bharat’ during ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. The Indian government is making efforts to position Lakshadweep prominently on the international tourism map. The G20 meeting, which was held here recently, has given international recognition to Lakshadweep. Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, a destination-specific master plan is being formulated for Lakshadweep. Now, Lakshadweep boasts of two blue flag beaches. I've been informed that the first water villa project in the country is being developed on Kadmat and Suheli Islands.

Lakshadweep is also becoming a major destination for cruise tourism. In the last five years, the number of tourists visiting here has increased nearly fivefold. You would recall that I had appealed to the people of the country to visit at least 15 places in India before planning foreign trips. For those who wish to explore islands in different countries and are fascinated by the seas of different nations, I urge them to visit Lakshadweep first. I believe that anyone who witnesses the beautiful beaches here will forget about visiting other countries.

My family members,

I assure all of you that the Central Government will continue to take every possible step for ease of living, ease of travel, and ease of doing business. Lakshadweep will play a strong role in the development of a ‘Viksit Bharat’. With this belief, congratulations to all of you on the development projects!

Thank you very much, everyone!

 

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

 

***

DS/RT/VK/AK



(Release ID: 1992671) Visitor Counter : 2071