Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (February 29) laid the foundation stone of the 296-km-long Bundelkhand Expressway to be built at a cost of ₹15,000 crore and said it will prove to be the development expressway of the region.
The expressway, which will pass through Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, and Jalaun districts, will link the Bundelkhand region, considered to be one of the most backward areas of the country, to national capital Delhi through the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the Yamuna Expressway.
“The project will put Bundelkhand on the development expressway. It will definitely change people’s lives in this entire region,” the prime minister said after laying the foundation of the expressway here by pressing a button.
“To come up at a cost of around ₹15,000 crores, this project will create thousands of job opportunities and connect the common people with facilities in bigger cities,” he said.
Be it the Bundelkhand Expressway, the Purvanchal Expressway or the proposed Ganga Expressway, they will all increase connectivity in Uttar Pradesh and increase job avenues, Modi said.
Recalling the state of affairs in the Bundelkhand region in the past, he said, “You must have seen in the past decades how in the name of Bundelkhand and farmers, packages worth thousand of crores of rupees were announced but farmers did not benefit.”
“But now the country has come out of that phase and every single paisa is reaching its right beneficiary,” the prime minister said.
Lauding the Uttar Pradesh government, Modi said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government is working in “express speed (express gati)” mode.
“Earlier, expressways could be seen in bigger cities like Delhi and Mumbai. But, now, people from Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur and Jalaun will avail the benefit of the expressway. This modern infrastructure will develop new industries here,” he said.
The prime minister said that “a provision of ₹3,700 crore has been made for the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor in this year’s budget. These two schemes — the defence corridor and the expressway — have a deep relationship. The Bundelkhand Expressway will give speed to the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor,” Modi said.
He said that “at one point in time, this region produced revolutionaries of India’s freedom struggle, and in the coming time it will make India self-reliant in ammunition and equipment”.
“This area of Bundelkhand is going to become a big centre of Make in India. The things produced here will be exported across the world. Once big factories are set up, smaller industrial units will also gain,” Modi said.
The expressway will be supplementing the nodes of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor announced by the central government in February 2018.
“Farmers of this place will also gain, there will be job avenues and income of every family will rise. The tourism sector will also benefit,” said the prime minister, who also launched 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) all over the country.
Bundelkhand is getting ready to not only change its destiny but also of India, he said raising the slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan.
“Today, you have seen the defence corridor, this is Jai Jawan. The beginning of FPOs is Jai Kisaan. May Bundelkhand march ahead with Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan,” Modi said.
The prime minister said he was confident that “from Chitrakoot, from Bundelkhand, the aspirations of Uttar Pradesh and the entire country will get express speed”.
(With inputs from agencies)