New Delhi, Feb 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for a myriad of projects totaling a staggering Rs 11,000 crores.
Against the picturesque backdrop of Assam, where the Prime Minister was visiting today he expressed his gratitude for the divine presence of Maa Kamakhya, (temple) commencing projects aimed at not just infrastructure enhancement but also amplifying the spiritual allure of the region.
Recalling his recent visits to multiple pilgrimage sites, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for arriving before Maa Kamakhya today and laying the foundation stone of the Maa Kamakhya Divya Lok Pariyojana project. Throwing light on the concept and scope of the plan, PM Modi informed that upon completion, it will further increase ease of access and comfort for the devotees while also giving a boost to the footfall. “Assam will become the gateway to tourism in the North East with an increase in the footfall of devotees for Maa Kamakhya’s darshan”, the Prime Minister said as he lauded the efforts of the state government and Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The blueprint for Maa Kamakhya Divya Lok Pariyojana is set to enhance the ease of access for devotees, creating a pilgrimage destination that transcends its religious significance.
Prime Minister Modi, drawing parallels with the success stories of Kashi and Ayodhya, envisions Assam as the gateway to religious tourism in the North East. He emphasized that the completion of this ambitious project would not only bolster the footfall at Maa Kamakhya but also position Assam as a vibrant hub for cultural and spiritual exploration. He predicted a similar positive transformation for Assam, with Maa Kamakhya Divya Lok Pariyojana poised to become a beacon for religious tourism, enhancing livelihoods for various sections of society.
Highlighting the cultural tapestry of Indian pilgrimage sites and temples, Prime Minister Modi underscored their role as custodians of the nation’s rich heritage. He reflected on the transformative journey of the past decade, emphasizing the government’s commitment to both “Vikas” (development) and “Virasat” (heritage).
Acknowledging the potential economic windfall that pilgrimage sites bring, Prime Minister Modi outlined the government’s continued focus on tourism in the recent budget.
Other Major Transformative Projects in Assam
The Prime Minister also unveiled a comprehensive development plan for Assam, injecting over Rs. 3400 crores into various transformative projects. The cornerstone of this initiative is the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Corridor Connectivity, focusing on upgrading 43 roads and enhancing 38 bridges with a total investment exceeding Rs. 3400 crores.
In addition to infrastructure, the Prime Minister laid the foundation for sports facilities, including an international standard sports stadium and the upgrade of Nehru Stadium to FIFA standards. Healthcare infrastructure is also a priority, with projects initiated for Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, along with a new medical college in Karimganj.
During his address, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that these projects aim not only to improve Assam’s connectivity within the North Eastern states but also to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian neighbours. He emphasized the government’s commitment to ‘Ease of Living,’ citing a quadrupling of development expenditure in the region, particularly in railway tracks, the railway budget, and national highways.
The Prime Minister announced key initiatives focusing on citizens’ well-being, including the construction of 4 crore pucca houses, tapped water connections, electricity, cooking gas connections under Ujjwala Yojna, and toilets under Swachh Bharat. Underlining the commitment to electricity supply, Modi introduced the Rooftop Solar Scheme, aiming to make electricity bills zero for one crore families.
Prime Minister Modi addressed women empowerment, outlining the goal of creating 3 crore Lakhpati Didis and highlighting the inclusion of women in self-help groups and the Ayushman Scheme.
Celebrating achievements in peace and development, he acknowledged the signing of over 10 major peace agreements, leading to the cessation of violence by thousands of youth. The removal of AFSPA in many districts and the rejuvenation of once-troubled areas were also emphasised.