Govt taking steps to strengthen agriculture sector: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modion Saturday said his government is taking initiatives tostrengthen the agriculture sector in the country so thatfarmers do not have to face any trouble.

His statement comes amid opposition to the new farmlaws by farmers groups and political parties.

Modi was speaking after inaugurating three projects inGujarat- one each related to agriculture, healthcare andtourism development- via video conference from New Delhi.

“In order to double the farmers income and to reducethe production cost and their troubles, we will have toincrease our efforts with the changing times,” he said.

“Whether granting freedom to farmers to sell theirproduce anywhere in the country or creating thousands offarmer producer organisations, whether completing stalledirrigation projects or improving crop insurance scheme or 100per cent neem-coating of urea or soil health card…the aim isto strengthen the agriculture sector so that farmers do nothave trouble in farming. Initiatives like these are beingtaken continuously for it,” he said.

He launched the state governments Kisan SuryodayYojana (KSY) aimed at providing day-time electricity to thefarmers in the state for irrigation and farming purposes.

The PM also inaugurated Paediatric Heart Hospital atthe U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre inAhmedabad, developed at a cost of Rs 470 crore by the stateshealth and family welfare department.

Besides, he launched the recently-completed ropewayproject on Mount Girnar, a major tourist and pilgrim site nearJunagadh city in the state. The 2.3-km long ropeway is beingtouted as the longest temple ropeway in Asia.

Modi held the opposition responsible for the delay incompletion of the Girnar ropeway project.

The project was proposed in 1983, and was delayed dueto various reasons, most importantly due to the environmentalconcerns, before the UPA government granted it conditionalapproval in 2011.

“Had they not created hurdles in the Girnar ropewayproject, it would not have got stalled for so many years.

People and tourists should have got its benefit a long back,”he said.

“As a nation, we all should think of the loss causedto the people and the country when such projects (Girnarropeway) of public importance are stalled for a long time,” hesaid, adding that the new project will facilitate the pilgrimsand tourists, and create job opportunities for the locals.

“More people will visit (a place) only when modernfacilities are provided to tourists. Tourists want ease ofliving, ease of travelling,” he said.

Modi said the worlds tallest Statue of Unityattracted more than 45 lakh tourists before the pandemic.

“Look at the Statue of Unity dedicated to Sardar Saheb(Vallabhbhai Patel). The worlds tallest statue is becoming ahuge tourist attraction. Before the coronavirus outbreak, over45 lakh people had visited it. It is a big achievement in sucha short time. It has been reopened (recently), and the number(of tourists) is increasing fast,” he said.

The Statue of Unity was inaugurated in October 2018.

Lauding the state government over the Kisan SuryodayYojana (KSY), Modi said India has become a leading country inboth solar production and consumption.

“Gujarat was the first state in the country thatframed a detailed policy for solar energy a decade ago. In2010, when a solar power plant was inaugurated in Patan,nobody had imagined that one day India will show the way tothe world for One Sun, One World, One Grid,” he said.

“Today, India is a leading country in both solarproduction and its use. In the last six years, the country hasbecome the fifth-ranking nation in the world in solar energyproduction,” the PM added.

He said the KSY will change the lives of lakhs offarmers in a few years by providing them electricity forirrigation from dawn to 9.30 pm.

He also talked about Kusum Yojana that aims to helpfarmers, cooperatives and panchayats in setting up small solarplants on barren lands, and link solar pumps to the grid, hesaid.

Modi lauded the states initiative in taking water tohouseholds under the Nal Se Jal scheme.

Urging the farmers to save water, he said, “As the KSYhas been launched, all have to repeat the mantra- Per drop,more crop.” “As farmers will get electricity during the day, theyshould also focus in saving more water,” he said, adding thatday-time power supply will make things easier for farmers toset up micro-irrigation.

Changing lifestyle is increasing heart complications,Modi said, adding that the heart hospital will providefacilities to the people of Gujarat and others.

In his address, Chief Minister Rupani targeted the”anti-Gujarat people” for stalling the Girnar ropeway and theSardar Sarovar project.

“We all know that in the past, anti-Gujarat peopletried to create hurdles in many projectslike Narmada andGirnar ropeway so that Gujarat, Modi and BJP do not get thecredit. But luckily for us, when Modi became the PM, both theprojects were realised,” he said.

In the first phase of the KSY, which was recentlyannounced by Rupani, farmers in Dahod, Junagadh and Gir-Somnath districts of the state will be covered, the governmentsaid in a statement.

On the occasion, Modi also inaugurated a mobile appfor tele-cardiology at the Ahmedabad civil hospital.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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