Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that efforts are on to attract investment from all over the world to improve the country’s infrastructure. Mr Modi said, over 100 lakh crore rupees will be spent under the National Infrastructure Pipeline Project. He said, work is also being done on the Multi-modal Connectivity Infrastructure Master Plan. The Prime Minister was speaking after inaugurating construction work of Metro project at Agra in Uttar Pradesh through video conference today. Mr Modi said, the metro project, worth over 8000 crore rupees, will strengthen the mission related to the establishment of smart facilities in Agra.
The Prime Minister pointed out that one of the major problems of the country’s infrastructure sector has been that new projects were announced, but not much attention was given to where the money would come from. Mr Modi said, his government has ensured the necessary funds at the start of the new projects itself. The Prime Minister said, the government’s focus is on making small cities the axis of self reliant India and the Metro project at Agra reflects this intention.
On tourism sector, the Prime Minister said, the government has increased the number of countries covered under the e-Visa scheme and also reduced the tax on hotel room tariff significantly. He said, efforts are also being made to attract tourists through schemes like Swadesh Darshan and Prasad. Highlighting the economic importance of Metro services, the Prime Minister said, the Metro will also help in the tourism sector of the ancient city. Mr Modi asserted that due to the efforts of the government, India is now ranked at number 34 in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. In 2013, India was ranked 65th in this index. He expressed hope that as the situation in Corona continues to improve, soon the charm of the tourism sector will also return.
The Prime Minister informed that 450 km metro line has been operationalized after 2014, as compared to mere 225 km before that. He also informed that work is progressing expeditiously on the 1000 km long metro lines. He said, the work is underway in 27 cities of the county.
Talking about the various development projects running in western Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister said that first Rapid Rail system from Delhi to Meerut is under construction and many other development works including Greenfield airport are in progress in western part of the State.
The Prime Minister stressed that reforms are now being carried out in a wholesome manner rather than in piecemeal manner in the country. He stated that for the development of cities, work has been done at four levels- resolution of long standing problems, ease of living, maximum investment and more use of modern technology.
The Prime Minister said, earlier, there was a trust-gap between the builders and the home buyers. He said, people with some wrong intentions brought disrepute to the entire real estate sector, upsetting middle class. He said RERA’s law was introduced to remove this problem. He added, some recent reports show that after this law, middle class homes started getting completed quickly. He said, all-round development from modern public transport to housing is going on to make life in cities easier.
The Prime Minister said, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was inaugurated from Agra and under the scheme, over one crore houses have been approved for the urban poor. For the middle class of the city, help is being provided to buy houses for the first time. He said so far, more than 12 lakh urban middle class families have been given help of about 28000 crores rupees to buy houses. He said, infrastructure like water and sewer are being upgraded in several cities under AMRUT mission and help is being given to local bodies to make public toilets better in cities and to implement a modern system of waste management. He said the urban middle class of the country is getting many facilities from the government in terms of subsidy on home, health card, loans and other monetary help.
The Prime Minister said that everyone is waiting for the Corona vaccine and it is not going to take too long but people should strictly adhere to the social distancing guidelines till it arrives.
Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, Agra Metro rail project will increase the infrastructure of the state and provide better transportation for the general public.
The Agra Metro project comprises two corridors with a total length of 29.4 km and connects major tourist attractions like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra with railway stations and bus stands. The project will benefit the 26 lakh population of the city and will also cater to more than 60 lakh tourists who visit Agra every year. It will provide an environment-friendly Mass Rapid Transit System to the historic city. The estimated cost of the project is 8,379 crore rupees and it will be completed in 5 years.
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