Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the successive Congress governments at the Centre and in Uttarakhand of stalling development projects and forcing people to migrate for work. The prime minister was in Haldwani to lay the foundation stones of at least 23 projects worth over ₹17,500 crore.
“These inaugurated development projects will give better connectivity and better health to the people of Haldwani,” he said while addressing a rally in the town.
The projects include the ₹5,747 crore Lakhwar hydropower project.
Modi said the Lakhwar project was thought of in 1974 and took nearly 46 years to see the light of day.
“Wasn’t it sinful on part of those who were in power before us to delay the project? Would you forget their sin?” he asked a cheering crowd during the rally at the MB Inter College ground in Haldwani. “Generations of people in Uttarakhand villages were forced to leave their homes in the absence of roads and other facilities and migrate somewhere else,” he said.
He said, the project if implemented earlier would have addressed electricity, irrigation and drinking water needs in the hills of the state. He said there are two approaches – one to keep the hills deprived of development and the other to work day and night for their development, adding that the previous government in Uttarakhand was interested only in “looting” the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates & lays the foundation of 23 developmental projects worth Rs 17,500 crores, in Haldwani, Uttarakhand pic.twitter.com/NbMIXqCHyR
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) December 30, 2021
In a veiled attack on Congress leader Harish Rawat, Modi said one of those in power earlier said, “You may even loot the state but save my government. Those who love Uttarakhand cannot even think of something like that.”
His reference was to a purported video in which Harish Rawat was allegedly heard negotiating a money deal to buy back the support of rebel MLAs in the state in 2016. Modi said the implementation of the projects whose foundation stone was laid today are his commitments. “I am working with my heart and soul for the development of Uttarakhand,” he said.
Lauding the capabilities of the people of the state, Modi said they will make the coming 10 years “the decade of Uttarakhand”.
“The capability of the people of the state will make sure that this decade belongs to Uttarakhand. Modern infrastructure projects like Char Dham project, new rail routes will make help achieve this,” he said.
Modi inaugurated six projects worth ₹3,420 crore and laid the foundation stones of 17 others worth ₹ 14,127 crore. The inaugurated projects include three different stretches of the Char Dham all-weather road, which have been widened, Nagina-Kashipur National Highway, Suring Gad hydel project and sewage works under the Namami Gange programme at Nainital.
An AIIMS satellite centre for Kumaon worth ₹500 crore, Moradabad-Kashipur four-lane road, improved road connectivity with Nepal and an Aroma Park in Kashipur are among the key projects whose foundation was laid by the prime minister.
The Lakhwar multi-purpose project will produce 300 MW of electricity. The 330 million cubic metres water in its reservoir will supply irrigation and drinking water to six states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. This is Modi’s second visit to the state this month. On his last visit to Uttarakhand on December 4, Modi had unveiled projects worth over ₹18,000 crore in Dehradun, besides addressing an election rally.
(With inputs from agencies)