PM launches projects worth Rs 68,000 crore in Odisha

Sambalpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for projects worth more than Rs 68,000 crore in Sambalpur, Odisha aimed at boosting the energy sector involving natural gas, coal and power generation apart from important projects of road, railway and higher education sector.

Modi also took a walkthrough of the IIM Sambalpur model and a photo exhibition showcased on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today is a significant occasion for the development journey of Odisha as development projects worth approximately Rs 70,000 crores are launched today in the sectors of education, railway, roads, electricity and petroleum. PM Modi underlined that the people of Odisha belonging to the poor section, labourers, working class, business owners and farmers among all other sections of society will reap the benefits of today’s development projects. He further added that it will also create thousands of new employment opportunities for the youth of Odisha.

The Prime Minister expressed delight in announcing the government’s decision to confer the ex-deputy Prime Minister of India, Lal Krishna Advani with the Bharat Ratna. PM Modi lauded the unparalleled contributions of Advani as the Deputy Prime Minister, Home Minister and Information and Broadcasting Minister of India as well as decades of experience as a distinguished and loyal Member of Parliament.

“Honouring Advani ji with the Bharat Ratna is a symbol that the nation never forgets those who dedicate their lives to its service”, PM Modi asserted.

The Prime Minister thanked his good fortune for the love, blessings and guidance shown by L K Advani upon him, and prayed for his long life as he congratulated him on behalf of all citizens.

The Prime Minister said that in order to make Odisha a hub of education, and skill development, continuous efforts have been put in by the Central government. The fate of Odisha’s youth has changed with the setting up of modern educational institutes like IISER Berhampur and Bhubaneshwar’s Institute of Chemical Technology in the last decade. Now, with the establishment of IIM Sambalpur as a modern institute of management, the state’s role is being further strengthened. He recalled laying the foundation stone of IIM (Indian Institute of Management) during the pandemic and praised those associated with its completion amidst all the obstacles.

“The goal of a Viksit Bharat can only be achieved if all the states are developed”, PM Modi remarked, as he mentioned lending maximum support to Odisha in every sector.

Highlighting the efforts of the central government in the last 10 years, the Prime Minister mentioned Odisha’s petroleum and petrochemicals sector witnessing investments worth about Rs 1.25 lakh crores, the state’s railway budget getting a boost of more than 12 times, the construction of 50,000 kms of roads in Odisha’s rural areas under PM Gram Sadak Yojna and 4,000 kms of National Highways. Referring to today’s inauguration of three National Highways projects, the Prime Minister informed that interstate connectivity between Odisha and Jharkhand would reduce along with traveling distance.

Noting that the region is known for its potential in mining, power and steel industries, PM Modi said that new connectivity will create possibilities for new industries in the entire region, thereby creating thousands of new employment opportunities. He also touched upon the doubling of Sambalpur-Talcher rail section and the inauguration of new rail line from Jhar-Tarbha to Sonpur section.

“Subarnapur district will also connect through Puri-Sonpur Express making it easier for devotees to perform darshan of Lord Jagannath”, he said.

Modi mentioned that the supercritical and ultra-supercritical thermal plants inaugurated today will ensure adequate and affordable electricity for every family in Odisha.

“Odisha has greatly benefited from the policies made by the Central Government in the last 10 years”, the Prime Minister said, as he mentioned that Odisha’s income has increased 10 times after the change in mining policy.

Pointing out that the earlier policy where benefits of mineral production were not available to those areas and states where mining took place, the Prime Minister asserted that the issue was addressed with the formation of the District Mineral Foundation which ensured investments in the development of the same area from income received through mining.

“Odisha has so far received more than Rs 25,000 crores and the money is being used for the welfare of the people in the area where mining is taking place”.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister assured the people of Odisha that the Central Government will continue to work for the development of the state with the same dedicated spirit.

Governor of Odisha, Raghubar Das, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, Union  Minister of Education, and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw were present on the occasion among others.