Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Varanasi visit on Sunday launched a scheme for environment-friendly solar-powered 'e-boats' at the Assi Ghat. The scheme to distribute e-boats is an attempt to reduce pollution and keep the Ganga river cleaner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Varanasi visit on Sunday launched a scheme for environment-friendly solar-powered ‘e-boats’ at the Assi Ghat. The scheme to distribute e-boats is an attempt to reduce pollution and keep the Ganga river cleaner.
Talking about the benefits of using e-boats, PM Modi said, “Tourists will be keen to come and take a ride on Varanasi’s e-boats, will this not boost tourism here? With e-boats,the boatmen will be able to save Rs 500 a day without spending on diesel. They can use this money for their family.” “Whatever money you save, use it for the well being of your children – their food, their education but don’t waste what you save,” Modi urged boatmen.
He also sought support from the people of Varanasi to keep the city and its ghats clean. “My Kashi will be clean – can we not take this vow together? We, the people, have to do this, not the government or anybody else,” he said.
Modi went on to say, “Schemes that strengthen the people are important not schemes that strengthen vote banks. We are empowering the poor so that the poor can battle poverty. Shouldn’t the poor have access to banks just like everyone else? We thought of the poor first when we introduced Jan Dhan Yojana. The poor must have access to banking services. This nation, our government and our banks…they are for the poor.”
PM Modi flagged off a fleet of 11 e-boats and also interacted with boatmen at Assi Ghat. PM Modi also rode in an e-boat. The boats have been modified to install solar panels.
“These e-boats will not only reduce pollution, but will also bring down the operational costs, thereby enabling higher incomes for those who earn their livelihoods through such boats on the river Ganga,” claims government.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi also distributed 1,000 e-rickshaws, meeting and interacting with beneficiaries. Varanasi is the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency.
On a visit to Uttar Pradesh, Modi also launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in Ballia. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is an NDA government scheme that aims to provide 5 crore free cooking (LPG) connections to below-poverty-line families over the next three years. The ambitious Rs 8,000 crore scheme will partly be funded using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies through PM’s ‘Give It Up’ initiative.
Launching the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, PM Modi said that the cooking gas scheme will benefit 5 crore families till 2019. “We have shown how the petroleum sector is for the poor,” Modi said.
“This cooking gas connection will not only help reduce cost for each family, but will also help better the health of women,” Modi said at the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. “The subsidy transfer will take place in the Jan Dhan account of the family’s woman head,” he said.
Lauding people for participating in the ‘Give It Up’ campaign, PM Modi said, “I had appealed to people to give up LPG subsidy; it was a heartfelt plea. I hadn’t thought of a scheme or follow-up campaign, but the people of this country were great enough to give up their subsidies. I want to laud the over 1 crore families who gave up their LPG subsidies. Those subsidies that were given up have reached the households of poor people through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme.”