Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s address at the inauguration of six-lane widening project of the Varanasi-Prayagraj section of NH-19

Posted On: 30 NOV 2020 6:40PM by PIB Delhi

Har Har Mahadev!

My dear brothers and sisters of Kashi,

Pranam to all of you, especially to the farmers of Rajatalab, Mirzamurad, Kachhwa, Kapsethi, Rohaniya and Sevapuri region.

Many Many congratulations and best wishes to all of you for Dev Deepawali and Gurpurab.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya ji, my colleague in Parliament Bhai Ramesh Chand ji and a large number of my dear sisters and brothers of Kashi who are present.

Kashi is getting another gift of modern infrastructure on the occasion of Dev Deepawali and Prakashotav of Guru Nanak Dev ji. It will benefit people of Kashi and Prayagraj. Many many congratulations to all of you.

I remember my first public meeting took place in this ground in 2013 and the highway passing through used to be four-lane. Today with the blessings of Baba Vishwanath, this highway has become six-lane. The people who used to commute from Handia to Rajatalab are aware of problems on this highway. There used to be frequent jams and very slow traffic. People coming from Delhi and other cities also used to be hassled on this route. The 70-kilometre journey will now be comfortable and at a fast pace. With the widening of this highway, the travel between Kashi and Prayag has become easier now.  The problems faced by Kanvadias during the Kavad Yatra and others will end now. Not only that, its gains will be visible even during Kumbh. 

Brothers and sisters,

Whether it is a place of faith or a particular place, people always try to find out how convenient it is to visit there. Such facilities also encourage domestic and foreign tourists and devotees also. One can see the benefits due to the connectivity and beautification work of Kashi in the last few years. The amount of work that is happening in Banaras and adjoining areas has never happened after independence whether it is building new highways, flyovers or widening of roads to avoid traffic jams. Being a sevak of Banaras, my endeavour is to reduce the problems of the people of Banaras and to make their life easier. In the last six years, projects worth several thousand crore rupees have been completed fast and several projects are underway.  The road connecting the town with the airport has become an identity of the development works in Banaras. The connectivity of railway station has also improved. The work of Ring Road phase-II is also progressing at a fast pace at some distance from here.  Once completed, heavy vehicles passing through Sultanpur, Azamgarh and Ghazipur will be able to take this new six-lane highway directly without entering the city. Efforts are on to complete work on other highways as early as possible. The journey to Varanasi, Lucknow, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur will become very convenient once all these highways are completed.

Brothers and sisters,

Better roads, better railways, better and affordable air facilities, facilitate every section of the society. Especially the poor, the small entrepreneurs, the middle class get the most of the benefits. When construction work is underway, many people get employment. When these projects are ready, it cuts down time, money and reduces problems.  Even during Corona, these infrastructure projects have become a huge medium of employment for worker friends.

Brothers and sisters,

I am happy that there has been an unprecedented growth in the infrastructure construction since the formation of the government of Yogi ji in Uttar Pradesh. You are well aware of the situation of infrastructure earlier in Uttar Pradesh. Today, Uttar Pradesh is being referred to as Express Pradesh. Simultaneous work is going on at five mega projects relating to connectivity in UP worth several thousand crore rupees.  Every corner, be it Purvanchal, Bundelkhand or western Uttar Pradesh, is being connected with the expressway. Of the two big and modern defence corridors of the country, one is being made in our Uttar Pradesh.

Brothers and sisters,

Besides roads, air connectivity is also being improved. There were only two major airports which were functioning effectively in UP till 3-4 years ago. Today, about a dozen airports are being readied in UP. The expansion work of Varanasi airport is going on here. The speed with which the airport terminal was built in Prayagraj had created a new record. In addition, Kushinagar airport is also being developed as an international airport.  The work at the International Greenfield Airport at Jewar in Noida is also progressing at a fast pace.

Friends,

Our farmers and farming benefit greatly when modern connectivity expands in the area. Over the years, efforts have been made to create infrastructure like godowns and cold storages along with modern roads in the villages. A special fund of one lakh crore rupees has also been earmarked for farmers.  This year, for the first time in the history of the country, moving cold storage, i.e., Kisan Rail, has been launched. Farmers are getting new markets, their access to big cities is increasing and it is having a direct impact on their incomes also because of these efforts.

Friends,

The excellent infrastructure that has been created in Purvanchal, including Varanasi, has greatly benefited the entire region. Due to the formation of a perishable cargo centre in Varanasi, the farmers have now got a huge facility to store and sell fruits and vegetables easily. Due to this storage capacity, the farmers ' produce is being exported abroad in large quantities for the first time. Today, the Langda and Dasheri varieties of mangoes are ruling London and the Middle East.  The demand for mangoes from Banaras is increasing abroad.  With the packaging facilities that are being readied here, there will be no need to go to bigger towns for packing. Besides mangoes, the fresh vegetables have also reached the markets of Dubai and London this year. These exports have been done by air. That is, the small farmers here are also getting the direct benefit of better air services. Work is in the process to find out how best the produce of the farmers can be transported using the first inland waterway in the country over the Ganges.

Friends,

Chandauli’s black rice is the finest example how the farmers are benefiting from the government’s efforts and modern infrastructure.  This rice is bringing prosperity to the farmers of Chandauli. An experiment of a variety of black rice was carried out here two years ago to increase the income of farmers. Last year, about 400 farmers were given this rice to grow in the Kharif season. A committee of these farmers was constituted and a market was searched for this. While normal rice sells for Rs 35-40 a kg, this black rice is being sold for up to Rs 300 a kg. Importantly, black rice has also got a foreign market. For the first time, this rice has been exported to Australia at the rate of about 850 rupees a kg. That is, where the MSP of paddy is Rs. 1800, the black rice has been sold at Rs. 8, 000 per quintal. I am told that in view of this success, about 1000 farmer families are cultivating black rice during this season.

Brothers and sisters,

Efforts are on to provide modern facilities to the farmers, to make them a big force by organising small farmers and increasing the income of the farmers. In the past few years, work has been done at all levels, be it crop insurance or irrigation, seeds or markets. About four crore farmer families have benefited due to Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana. Almost 47 lakh hectare land has come under the purview of micro irrigation due to Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.  Work is underway for several irrigation projects worth about 77,000 crore rupees.

But friends, successful projects are not enough. At the same time, farmers should also get the benefit of the large and wide markets in the country and the world. Therefore, the way to empower farmers has been adopted through alternatives. The agricultural reforms made in the interest of farmers give the same option to the farmers. If the farmer finds a buyer who directly takes the produce from the field, who makes every arrangement from transport to logistics and give a better price, should the farmer not get the freedom to sell his produce? India's agricultural products are famous all over the world.  Should the farmers not have access to this big market and higher prices? And if somebody prefers the old system, then where are the restrictions under this law?

Friends,

New agricultural reforms have only given farmers new options and new legal protection. Earlier, transactions outside the mandi were considered illegal, and as a result many small farmers used to be cheated and there used to be disputes, because small farmer could not reach mandi. This is not so now.  Now the small farmer can take legal action on the transactions outside the mandi also. That is, the farmer has not only got new alternatives but has also got legal protection to protect him from deceit and fraud. Giving new alternatives to the farmers along with projects can only rejuvenate our agriculture sector. If the projects from the government and alternatives for farmers go hand in hand, only then the country is rejuvenated.

Friends,

Governments make policies, laws and regulations. Policies and laws get the support and they are bound to be questioned also.  This is the part of democracy and It has been a vibrant tradition in India. But for the last some time, a different trend has been witnessed in the country. All of you conscious colleagues from Kashi must have experienced this. Earlier if any decision of the government was not liked by somebody, it used to be opposed. But we are witnessing a new trend that criticism is happening not on the basis of the decision, but by spreading confusion and apprehension regarding what will happen in future.  It is propagated that the decision is correct, but it is not known what it will lead to in the future and then prophecy it will happen. Confusion is spread in society about what has not happened yet, which will never happen.  The same game is being played intentionally on the issue of historic agricultural reforms. We have to remember that these are the same people who have consistently tricked the farmers for decades. For example, MSP would be declared, but a very meager MSP purchase used to take place. There would be announcements, but no purchases. This deception on MSP went on for years. Large loan waiver packages were announced in the name of farmers, but they did not reach the small and marginal farmers. That is, there was deception on loan waiver also. Big schemes were announced in the name of farmers but they themselves admitted that out of 1 rupee, only 15 paise reached the farmer, which is deceit in the name of schemes.

In the name of farmers, a huge subsidy was given on fertilizer. But this fertilizer would reach black marketers rather than the farms. There was even deceit in the name of urea. Farmers were told to increase productivity, but the profitability was ensured for somebody else other than the farmer.  Promise for the vote first and then deceit, the same game has been going on in the country for a long time.

Friends,

When history is full of deception, then two things are natural. The first is that there is decades of history behind the farmers being apprehensive about the promises of governments. Secondly, it has become a habit and compulsion for those who renege on the promises, to spread lies that what used to take place before, is still going to happen, because they have done the same and are applying the same formula.  But when you see the track record of this government, the truth will come out automatically. We said that we will stop the black marketing of urea and give enough urea to the farmers. There was no shortage of urea in the last six years. Earlier urea used to be purchased in black, people were forced to stand in a queue till late in the night and even sleep in the open in the cold nights and many times farmers standing for urea were even lathi-charged. It has stopped now. Even when every activity had stopped during the corona lockdown, we ensured there was no problem in delivering urea. We had promised that we will give MSP at 1.5 times the cost in line with the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission. This promise was not on papers, but we fulfilled it earnestly and also ensured that the money reached the bank accounts of the farmers.

Friends,

If we talk of pulses, then in the five years before 2014, pulses of around Rs 650 crore rupees were procured from the farmers by the previous government. Only 650 crore rupees of pulses! What we did in the five years after we came to power? In the subsequent five years, we have procured pulses worth about 49,000 crore rupees on MSP, i.e., an increase of about 75 times. Where is the comparison between 650 crore rupees and almost 50,000 crore rupees?   In the five years prior to 2014, I am talking about their last government, paddy worth Rs 2 lakh crores was purchased on MSP in the entire country.  But friends, in our five years, we have made available 5 lakh crore rupees as MSP of paddy to the farmers. That is, almost two and a half times more money has reached the farmers. In the 5 years before 2014, farmers got around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore on the purchase of wheat.  Rs. 1.5 lakh crore rupees in the five years of that government! In the subsequent 5 years, wheat growers have got Rs 3 lakh crores i.e. around 2 times. Now, you tell me if we had to dismantle mandis and MSP, why would we have given so much power and would have invested so much? Our government is spending crores of rupees to modernize the mandis.

Brothers and sisters,

You have to remember that these are the people who used to raise questions about PM Kisan Samman Nidhi in every nook and corner of the country, at every press conference and on twitter. They used to spread the rumour that Modi has introduced this Kisan Samman Nidhi in view of elections. Once he will give Rs. 2000 and after that he will not give again. Second lie was spread that this Rs. 2000 which is being given now will be taken back with interest.  You will be surprised that so much lie was spread in a particular state that the farmers refused to take Rs. 2000. There are some states, and one such state which is speaking on behalf of the farmers did not even let this Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme implement in his state, because he feared that his politics will be over if the money reached farmers and farmers hailed Modi.  It did not allow the money to go into the pockets of the farmers.  I want to tell the farmers of those states that whenever our government is formed there, I will give this money to the farmers.

Friends,

Amount is being provided directly to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmer families of the country and it is being done under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. We give the amount three times a year and about 1 lakh crore rupees has reached the farmers.

Friends,

We had promised to prepare a pension scheme for farmers.  Today, the PM Kisan Mandhan Yojana is there and 21 lakh farmer families have joined this within a very short time.

Brothers and sisters,

New agricultural reform laws have been brought in the interest of farmers on the strength of the same track record of fulfilling promises. We will definitely see one day how much useful these laws have proved in bringing justice to the farmers. We will experience it and I am sure there will be positive discussions in the media and we will get to see and read it. I am aware that decades of deceit make farmers apprehensive. The farmers are not to be blamed, but I want to tell the countrymen, my farmer brothers and sisters that work is being done with intentions as pure as Gangajal. This I want to say from the banks of the Ganges, from the holy city of Kashi.

Brothers and sisters,

The truth of those who spread illusions on the basis of mere apprehensions is being constantly exposed before the country. When farmers understand their lies, then they start spreading lies on another topic. This is their 24/7 job. The farmers of the country are very much aware of it. The government is also constantly answering those farmer families who still have some concerns and questions, and is making maximum efforts to find a solution. With the blessing of Maa Annapurna, our farmers will lead the self-reliant India campaign. I am confident that those farmers, who have some doubts on agricultural reforms today, will also take advantage of these agricultural reforms in future and increase their income. This is my firm belief.

In the end, I congratulate all of you for this modern highway. Our efforts will continue to develop Kashi on a grand scale. I have several other programmes in Banaras, where also I will speak on several issues in detail. I have been late this time due to corona, but I am energized after meeting you. With your blessings, I have got a new energy to work. This is my energy, this is a blessing for me that you have turned up in such a large number. I am very grateful to you. Tighten your fists and speak with full force with me – Bharat Mata ki jai.

Many many thanks!

 

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

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DS/AKP/VK/AK



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