Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Tamil Nadu farmers for their record food grain production and good use of water resources. He was in Chennai to inaugurate a slew of projects.
Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated the Rs 3,770 crore Chennai Metro Rail phase I extension project and flagged off the passenger services from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar. This 9.05 km extension now links north Chennai to the Airport and the Central railway station. The Prime Minister said that improved connectivity brings convenience. It also helps commerce. The Chennai Beach, Ennore-Attipattu stretch of Golden Quadrilateral. Modi mentioned that in this year’s budget, over Rs 63,000 crore have been set aside for a hundred and nineteen kilometres of Phase two of the project. This is one of the largest projects sanctioned for any city in one-go. The focus on urban transport will boost ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens here”, Modi said.
The Prime Minister has inaugurated the 22.1 km fourth rail line between Chennai beach and Attipattu. A new section was laid at a cost of Rs.293.40 crores, traverses through Chennai and Tiruvallur districts. It will ease traffic from the Chennai port. This extension connects the Chennai port and the Ennore port and passes through major yards providing operational flexibility for the movement of trains in this stretch. PM Modi has also inaugurated the Rs.423 crore electrification of the single rail line on the Villupuram-Cuddalore-Mayiladuthurai Tiruvarur stretch. The 228 km Villupuram Thanjavur stretch will facilitate a free flow of traffic without the need for a change of traction between Egmore and Kanniyakumari and will result in a saving of Rs.14.61 lakh a day on fuel cost.
Later in the day, PM Modi handed over the state of the art Arjun MK-1A to the Army which has been indigenous, developed and made by the Combat Vehicle Research and Development Establishment Organization, attached to the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) along with 15 academic institutions, 8 labs and several MSMEs. Speaking at the function, Modi said “Tamil Nadu is already the leading manufacturing hub of Bharat, and now it is evolving as the tank manufacturing hub of Bharat. “One of the two defence corridors is in Tamil Nadu. It has already received an investment commitment of over Rs.8,100 crores. A tank made in Tamil Nadu will put into service to protect our borders in Northern India. This shows the united nature of Bharat. India believes in peace. But it will protect sovereignty at all costs”.
He also laid the foundation for the Discovery Campus of IIT-Madras. The Campus will be built at Thaiyur near Chennai at an estimated cost of Rs.1,000 crore in the first phase, over an area of 2 lakh Sq.m. He also laid the foundation stone for the extension, renovation and modernization of the Grand Anicut Canal system at a cost of Rs.2,640 crore. The canal is important for irrigation in the Cauvery delta districts which will improve its carrying capacity.
Prime Minister began his speech by saying in Tamil “ Vanakkam Chennai “. He lauded the enthusiasm of Chennai and hoped the projects would further the growth of Tamil Nadu. He said “Chennai is full of energy and enthusiasm. It is a city of knowledge and creativity. From here, we begin key infrastructure projects. These projects are symbols of innovation and indigenous development. He recited a poem written by saint Avvaiyar to underscore the importance of conserving water.
He said that the aim is to maximise each drop of water available. He said “Always remember the mantra of “per drop, more crop”. Modi recalled with pride that the Grand Anicut was the lifeline for the granary for more than thousand years. He quoted poetess Avaaiyaar words. A rough translation of the poem: “when the four sides of the paddy field raises, it will store more waters. If water raises, the paddy crop will raise. If it raises, the government will raise. If the government will raise, the king or the rulers will grow”.
In nutshell, if the borders of the field is raised its capacity will rise which in turn give more yields. The higher yield will help the government and the king. People’s lives will be happier. Modi said “it is our honour to work towards preserving and celebrating the culture of Tamil Nadu. The culture of Tamil Nadu is popular globally. Thanjavur and Pudukottai will be specially benefited as the foundation to modernize the six hundred and third six kilometres long Grand Anicut Canal system was laid today. The impact of this is going to be very big. It will improve irrigation facilities for 2.27 lakh acres of land. The Grand Anicut is a living testimony to our glorious past and it is also an inspiration to our Nation’s Aatmanibrhar Bharat goals.
He also quoted Subramania Bharathi’s words to equate to the Atamanirbhar Bharat project. “We will make weapons, will make good papers, will start industries will start schools and colleges. We will do all jobs of the world with pride and interest with dedication” that was what Bharathi said. Prime Minister said “I want to appreciate the farmers of Tamil Nadu for record food grain production and good use of water resources. We have to do whatever we can do to conserve water. Always remember the “per drop, more crop” mantra. No Indian can forget this day. Two days ago, the Pulwama attack took place. We pay homage to all the martyrs we lost in that attack. We are proud of our security forces. Their bravery will continue to inspire generations.
On the Indian fishermen issue, PM Modi said currently there were no Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody and 330 boats have also been released and the government was working on the release of the rest of the boats. He said that the issue of Tamil rights has been taken up by the Indian government consistently with the Sri Lankan government. “We are committed to ensuring that they live with equality, justice, peace and dignity” Modi underlined. He said the government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of our Tamil brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Modi said Devendrakula Vellalar community will now be known by their heritage name, long pending demand has been met.
Earlier, the Prime Minister arrived at the Chennai airport and then flew in a helicopter to INS Adyar from were drove to the function venue. All along the way, a large number of supporters and the public turned up to greet the Prime Minister. Artists played traditional musical instruments to welcome him. He waved at the people who waited on the kerb to have a glimpse of the Prime Minister. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswamy and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and others were present.