Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Dibrugarh district of eastern Assam.
Addressing the large gathering, Mr Modi regretted the delay in its construction and said that the 4.9-km long Bogibeel bridge was not just a bridge but a lifeline connecting the lives of millions of people in the region besides reducing the distance between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
“About 16 years ago, Atalji came here. He had a vision for the development of the Bogibeel bridge. This bridge is also a tribute to his vision. When Vajpayeeji’s government lost power in 2004, several key infrastructure projects of his era were not completed,” he said adding that if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a second term the Bogibeel bridge would have been ready by 2008-09.
Pointing out that around 5,500 km of national highways were being constructed in North-East at a cost of `70,000 crore, Mr Modi said, “We ensure quick completion of key projects. Things have changed after May 2014, topmost priority has been accorded to key projects. Delayed infrastructure projects were adversely impacting India’s development trajectory.”
“When we assumed office, we accelerated the key projects and worked towards their quick completion,” the Prime Minister said adding, “Earlier governments managed to construct only three bridges over Brahmaputra in past 60 years. However, we expedited the work and completed the construction of three bridges including the Bogibeel bridge in 4.5 years.”
The bridge, constructed at an estimated cost of `5,900 crore, has a serviceable period of around 120 years, will reduce travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours and will cut out the detour of over 170 km via Tinsukia.
Recalling Vajpayee’s vision for good governance on his birth anniversary, Mr Modi said, “Atalji gave great importance to good governance. Good governance is all about strong and inclusive growth. I am in Assam on the day we mark the Jayanti of our beloved Atalji.”
He lauded the Sarbananda Sonowal government for giving stress on good governance and fighting out corruption from the system.
The Prime Minister while reiterating the commitment of his government for poor and downtrodden said, “You should also remember the situation when there were no bank accounts of brothers and sisters who worked in tea gardens. Under the Janadhan scheme, 7 lakh workers have been given a bank account. If I speak about the entire state, there are about one and a half crore Janadhan accounts that have been opened by the government.”
He said that for past four years his government has been fighting for the rights of the poor on one side where black money and corruption have been fought against with full force.
“On one hand, our government has been given a home to more than 1.25 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna and on the other hand, we have seized properties (bungalows and cars) of corrupt people worth `5,000 crore,” he said.
He equated as to how, on the one hand, his government has given the youngsters the registration of a new company in just one day, and on the other hand the registration of more than three lakh suspected corrupt companies' licenses have also been suspended.
“On one hand, our government under the Mudra Yojana has given a loan of `7 lakh crore to women, youngsters without a bank guarantee for self-employment and on the other hand we got back the crores that were stuck in bank because of the last government.”
The Prime Minister said, “Four years ago no one thought that the middleman in defence purchases could be brought to India. But our government has made it possible to bring him to the country.”...