PM Narendra Modi in Tamil Nadu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said in Chennai that no Indian fisherman is in Sri Lankan custody and India has been raising the issue to Tamil rights with the neighbouring country. PM Modi also announced that the Centre has accepted the long standing demand to recognise seven Scheduled Castes of south Tamil Nadu – Kudumbar, Pannadi, Kaaladi, Kadaiyar, Devendrakulathar, Pallar and Vadhiriyar – as Devendrakula Vellalar. The PM started his speech by saying that Chennai is full of energy and enthusiasm. “It is a city of knowledge and creativity. From here, we begin key infrastructure projects. These projects are symbols of innovation and indigenous development,” said PM Modi. PM Modi said the urban infra projects inaugurated today will help facilitate ease of living for people of Tamil Nadu. PM Narendra Modi also appreciated the farmers of Tamil Nadu for record food grain production and good use of water resources. “We have to do whatever we can do to conserve water. Always remember the mantra of ‘Per drop, more crop’,” said PM Modi. The PM paid tributes to Pulwama martyrs. Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said that this is going to be India’s decade. He said that the Centre government is doing everything to meet people’s aspiration.
Welcoming the PM, Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O Panneerselvam said that the Prime Minister has done much to ensure that the memory and legacy of Amma is preserved in Tamil Nadu. “He has been steadfast in his support for efforts of Amma’s government here,” said Panneerselvam. The PM handed over the State-of-the-Art Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army. This Battle Tank has been indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by CVRDE, DRDO along with 15 academic institutions, 8 labs and several MSMEs. PM Modi then inaugurate the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension, completed at a cost of Rs. 3770 crore, and commission the passenger services from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar. This 9.05 km long extension will link North Chennai with the Airport and Central Railway Station.
PM Modi also inaugurated the fourth Railway line between Chennai Beach and Attipattu. This 22.1 km section, laid at a cost of Rs 293.40 crore, traverses through Chennai and Thiruvallur Districts and will ease out traffic from Chennai Port. This section connects the Chennai Port and Ennore Port and passes through major yards, providing operational flexibility for the movement of trains.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Railway Electrification of single line section in Villupuram – Cuddalore – Mayiladuthurai – Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur. Completed at a cost of Rs 423 crore, the electrification of this 228 km route will enable free flow of traffic without the need for a change of traction between Chennai Egmore and Kanyakumari and would result in saving of Rs 14.61 lakh per day on fuel cost.
PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for the extension, renovation and modernization of the Grand Anicut Canal System. The canal is important for irrigation in the delta districts. The modernization of this canal will be taken up at a cost of Rs 2,640 crore, and will lead to an improvement in the water carrying capacity of the canals.
It’s notable that Tamil Nadu is going to elections around April-May this year. The BJP has allied with ruling AIADMK for the state polls.