In a veiled attack on the Congress-led UPA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the infrastructure development in the hilly border areas was nowhere in the policy strategy of those who remained in power for decades.
“Our mountains and culture are not only our faith but also the fortresses of our country’s security. We prioritize ease of living for people living in the mountains. Unfortunately, it was nowhere in the policy strategy of those who remained in power for decades,” PM Modi said while addressing an event in Dehradun. “Previous government didn’t work on the infrastructure of the hilly border areas as sincerely as they should have. It was as if they did vow to demoralize the Army at all levels. We have implemented one rank, one pension, given modern weapons, and a befitting reply to terrorists,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi said that between 2007 and 2014, the central government built only 288 km of National Highways worth Rs 600 crore in Uttarakhand, whereas his government in the last seven years has constructed National Highways of more than 2,000 km worth Rs 12,000 crore in Uttarakhand. He further mentioned that India is moving forward with the intention of investing more than Rs 100 lakh crores in modern infrastructure.
The Prime Minister today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple projects worth around Rs 18,000 crore in Dehradun. This includes the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor (from Eastern Peripheral Expressway Junction to Dehradun) which will be built at a cost of around Rs 8300 crore. It will significantly reduce the travel time from Delhi to Dehradun from six hours to around 2.5 hours The economic corridor will have seven major interchanges for connectivity to Haridwar, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Yamunanagar, Baghpat, Meerut and Baraut. It will have Asia’s largest wildlife elevated corridor (12 kilometres) for unrestricted wildlife movement. Also, the 340 metres long tunnel near Dat Kaali temple, Dehradun will help reduce the impact on wildlife.
Speaking on the occasion, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “Some people try to ruin our name and twist things in the name of politics, I’d like to tell them that till the time this current government stays in power, they can’t do anything. We have to beware of such elements.”