Paucity of energy does not let any nation come out of poverty, says PM Narendra Modi

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Anjar | Published: September 30, 2018 8:23:54 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday energy is essential for financial development and its paucity does not let any nation come out of poverty.

PM said there was a time when people were happy with ‘kachcha’ roads, but now people want modern development. (File photo: PIB twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday energy is essential for financial development and its paucity does not let any nation come out of poverty.

Claiming the day was not far when India would overtake Britain’s economy, he said while 13 crore families received gas connections in the country in 60 years, his government gave connections to 10 crore families in the last four years.

Modi was addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Mundra LNG Terminal, Anjar-Mundra and the Palanpur-Pali-Barmer gas transmission projects, cumulatively worth Rs 6,216 crore, at Anjar in Gujarat’s Kutch district.

“Energy is essential for development. Paucity of energy does not let any nation come out of poverty. If one needs freedom from poverty, wants financial development and a self-sufficient country, energy is necessary. Without it, even a mobile phone cannot be charged,” he said.

Modi said several prime ministers and chief ministers came and went, but he was fortunate to get the opportunity to inaugurate the third LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal.

“Gujarat is the gateway and hub for LNG and the epicentre of energy. As the third LNG terminal is dedicated to the country, all of them will fulfil their responsibility of sending energy to the east coast,” he said.

He said his government has undertaken the construction of gas grids to fulfil the dream of the country’s youth for a future made possible through modern technology.

“With the same modern, next-generation infrastructure, the country will reach new heights of development,” he said.

The prime minister added the newly-inaugurated gas grids will give a fillip to Rajasthan’s economy and offer opportunity to Punjab to move towards gas-based economy.

“The pipes from Gujarat are reaching areas where (gas-powered) fertiliser factories will change a farmer’s fortune. The same energy will help change their fortune,” he said.

He said there was a time when people were happy with ‘kachcha’ roads, but now people want modern development.

Now, people want railway, highway, i-way, gas grid, water grid, power grid, optical fibre network, he said, adding in a way people want modern infrastructure.

“In 60 years, 13 crore families received gas connections in the country. In four years (since coming to power), we gave connections to 10 crore families,” Modi said.

He said his government’s aim is that in the coming days no family would have to cook on wood which emanates smoke “equivalent to inhaling 400 cigarettes”.

Modi said he was in Sikkim a few days back where he got the opportunity to operationalise the country’s 100th airport.

“In 67 years, every year, one new airport was getting operational. In the last four years, every year, nine new airports have been made operational. There was a time when the common man could not even think of sitting in an aeroplane and today, even a person wearing a hawai chappal is travelling by air,” he said.

He added in the last year, the number of air passengers exceeded that of people travelling in the air-conditioned coaches of trains. The PM said since 2014 orders had been placed to procure 900 aircraft.

“The country is progressing rapidly. Its economy is leaving behind many countries and going ahead. That day is not far when India’s economy will overtake that of Britain,” he said.

He said when he took over as the prime minister, he was told 18,000 villages were living in the 18th century, where there was only darkness.

“I asked babus how many years would it take to electrify them and was told 7-10 years. I wanted to hasten the process. I once said from the Red Fort I want to electrify 18,000 villages in 1,000 days, and I say it with pride that my colleagues did it before the 1000-day deadline got over,” he said.

He added officials in the government must have taken a breather after the work was completed but unlike Gujarat, officials in the Centre do not know what Modi is.

“We decided that in accordance with the Saubhagya Yojana (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana), these four crore families will also get electricity connections. Work is going on at a war-footing and before 75 years of Independence, it will be accomplished,” he said.

He also highlighted the transformation of Gujarat’s arid Kutch region over the years after the 2001 earthquake, adding that the white desert had now become a “centre of attraction in the country and the world.”

He said tourism has played an important role in this transformation. “I do not need to explain the virtue of tourism to the people of Kutch. We are trying to strengthen the root to achieve new heights of development. If the root of nation building is strong, then the country will be strong,” he said.

Taking a dig at the opposition, Modi said some people were always frustrated and saw everything through the same prism.

“Some people are drowned in negativity. They only see the downside. Talk of cleanliness, and they would say how this will happen? Did we not achieve this? Were toilets not made? Aren’t people working towards cleanliness? First start. They (opposition) wasted 70 years in saying nothing will happen,” Modi said.

He said the government’s aim is clear: education for children, irrigation for farmers, employment for youth and medicines for elderly, adding that all these necessities of life are being met through one scheme after the other.

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