The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for several key projects and handed over the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Army, at Chennai today.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said “these projects are symbols of innovation and Indigenous development. These projects will further the growth of Tamil Nadu.” He said Thanjavur and Pudukkottai will be specially benefitted as the foundation to modernise the six hundred and thirty-six kilometres long Grand Anicut Canal System was laid today. The impact of this is going to be very big. It will improve irrigation facilities for 2.27 lakh acres of land. Modi lauded the farmers of Tamil Nadu for record food grain production and good use of water resources. He said that “the Grand Anicut is a living testimony to our glorious past. It is also an inspiration to our Nation’s“Aatmnirbhar Bharat” goals.” Quoting Tamil poet Avvaiyar, the Prime Minister stressed the need to conserve water as it is not just a national issue but a global subject. He emphasized the need to remember the mantra of Per Drop More Crop,
Speaking about the nine-kilometre stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail Phase One, that was inaugurated today. The Prime Minister informed that the project has been completed on schedule despite the pandemic. The project is in line with the boost to Aatmnirbhar Bharat as the rolling stock has been procured locally and civil construction activities were done by Indian Contractors. Shri Modi mentioned that in this year’s budget, over Rupees Sixty Three thousand crores have been set aside for a hundred and nineteen kilometres of Phase two of the project. This is one of the largest projects sanctioned for any city in one-go. The focus on urban transport will boost ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens here, Shri Modi pointed out.
The Prime Minister said that improved connectivity brings convenience. It also helps commerce. The Chennai Beach, EnnoreAttipattustretch of Golden Quadrilateral
is a high traffic density route. He said there is a need to ensure faster freight movement between Chennai Port and Kamarajar Port and expressed the confidence that the fourth line between Chennai Beach and Attipattuwill help in this respect. He also noted that the electrification of Villupuram Thanjavur Thiruvarurproject will be a great boon to the delta districts.
The Prime Minister paid homage to the Pulwama attack martyrs on the anniversary of the attack today. He said “We pay homage to all the martyrs we lost in that attack.We are proud of our security forces.Their bravery will continue to inspire generations.”
The Prime Minister said India has undertaken a massive effort to become self-reliant in the defence sector. He said this is inspired by what MahakaviSubramaniya Bharathi Writing in the oldest language in the world, Tamil, said Let us make weapons; let us make paper. Let us make factories; let us make schools. Let us make vehicles that can move and fly. Let us make ships that can shake the world. Shri Modi said that One of the two defence corridors is in Tamil Nadu. The corridor has already received investment commitments over Rupees Eight thousand one hundred crores.
The Prime Minister noted that Tamil Nadu is already the leading automobilemanufacturing hub of India. Now, The Prime Minister saw Tamil Nadu evolving as the Tank manufacturing hub of India. On MBT Arjun Mark 1A, the Prime Minister declared “I am proud to handover the indigenously designed and manufactured “Main Battle Tank Arjun Mark 1A”. It also uses indigenous ammunition.A tank made in Tamil Nadu will be used in our northern borders to keep the nation safe. This showcases India’s united spirit – Bharat’s Ekta Darshan”
The Prime Minister said that the focus on making India Aatmanirbhar in the defence sector will keep moving at full speed.
Our armed forces signify India’s ethos of courage.They have shown time and again that they are fully capable of protecting our Motherland. Time and again they have also shown India believes in peace.However, India will protect our sovereignty at all costs, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that The Discovery Campus of IIT Madras with 2-lakh square metre infrastructure to house world-class research centres will be a leading centre of discovery and draw the best talent from all over India.
Modi said that this year’s Budget has once again showcased the reform commitment of the Government. The Budget gives special importance to the development of India’s coastal areas. Extra credit mechanisms for fishermen communities, up-gradation of Infrastructure relating to fishing with modern fishing harbours in five centres including Chennai and seaweed farming. will improve the lives of coastal communities. He also informed that for seaweed cultivation, a multi-purpose sea-weed park will come up in Tamil Nadu.
The Prime Minister announced that The Central Government has accepted their long-standing demand of DevendrakulaVelalar community to be known as DevendrakulaVelalar They will now be known by their heritage name and not the six to seven names listed in the Schedule to the Constitution. The draft Gazette to amend the Constitutional schedule to correct their name as DevendrakulaVelalar has been approved by the central government. It will be placed before the Parliament before the start of the next session. He thanked the Government of Tamil Nadu for the detailed study done on this demand. Modi said this decision is more than a change of name. It is about justice, dignity and opportunity. “It is our honour to work towards preserving and celebrating the culture of Tamil Nadu. The culture of Tamil Nadu is popular globally”, said Shri Modi
Prime Minister asserted that the Government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of our Tamil brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. Shri Modi is the only Indian Prime Minister to visit Jaffna. The resources provided by this Government for Tamils have been much more than in the past. The projects include Fifty thousand houses for displaced Tamils in North-Eastern Sri Lanka. Four thousand houses in the plantation areas. On the health side, we financed a free ambulance service which is widely used by the Tamil community. A hospital has been built in Dickoya.To boost connectivity, the railway network to Jaffna and to Mannar is being re-built. Flights have been established from Chennai to Jaffna. India has built the Jaffna Cultural Centre which will open soon. “The issue of Tamil rights has also been taken up by us consistently with Sri Lankan leaders. We are always committed to ensuring that they live with equality, justice peace and dignity” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also assured that the Government will always protect the rightful interests of fishermen and has always ensured early release whenever fishermen are apprehended in Sri Lanka. More than sixteen hundred fishermen have been released during the tenure of the current Government and there are no Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody. Similarly, three hundred and thirteen boats have also been released, informed the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension, the fourth Railway line between Chennai Beach and Attipattu, Railway Electrification of single line section in Villupuram – Cuddalore – Mayiladuthurai – Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur. Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the extension, renovation and modernization of the Grand Anicut Canal System and Discovery Campus of IIT Madras.
Governor of Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Deputy Chief Minister, Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly Industries Minister of Tamil Nadu were present on the occasion.