ITANAGAR: Blaming poor connectivity for under-development of the North East, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Centre was working in tandem with the states of the region to remove bottlenecks in development.
Modi, who flagged off two trains and laid the foundation of a power project, said "Arunachal Pradesh is getting both ‘gati’ (momentum) and ‘urja’ (energy) today."
The projects being launched today would boost connectivity and provide electricity which would in turn become strong weapons in the fight against poverty which can't be done on the basis of mere slogans, Modi said after formally bringing Arunachal in the railway map of the country.
"Ministers and senior officers of the Centre are working in tandem with the North-East states to remove bottlenecks in development," he said.
"India will grow if Arunachal grows," Modi said.
The PM flagged off through remote control the AC Express Train between Naharlagun and New Delhi and the Intercity Express between Naharlagun and Guwahati besides dedicating to nation the 21.75 km long broad gauge railway track between Naharlagun in Arunachal and Harmuti in Assam’s Lakhimpur district.
He also laid the foundation stone of a 132 KV power transmission and distribution system project and unveiled the Itanagar Water Supply project.
Describing the new trains as a "special gift" to the people of the state on the occasion of 29th Statehood Day, Modi said that with the new train linking the state capital and the national capital, tourism industry would flourish soon enabling visitors from different parts of country.
Referring to the immense hydel power potential of the state, the Prime Minister cited the examples of how Nepal and Bhutan were harnessing hydropower to transform their economy, and how Himachal Pradesh had done the same for country.
He said Arunachal Pradesh could provide electricity to the entire country and called for development of the state's hydel potential, simultaneously giving proper compensation to people who get displaced by hydro projects.
About bringing Arunachal on the rail map of the country, Modi said, "Railway is not only for communication but a medium of development."
"To give a boost to the economic sector, railways play an important role as an engine of growth," he said adding railway would provide the required speed for the country and the transmission project would meet the energy requirements.
He said the Centre had earmarked Rs 4,200 crore for the railway project in the state besides Rs 3,200 crore for the power transmission project.
"I am pained to note that 60 years were taken by Independent India to provide safe drinking water to the people of the state capital," he said.
Despite a large number of mountains and water sources, people here remained thirsty so far which is quite pathetic,” he said taking a dig at the Congress government.
"Pahar ka paani....kam nahi aata. Main ise badalna chahta hoon. (Water of the hills is pure but is seldom made available to people of the area), he said to the loud applause of the people gathered at Indira Gandhi Park.
"I have a dream of providing 24-hour electricity to the people of the country for which power have to be generated," Modi said.
"The work is tough but nothing is impossible...You have entrusted me with the responsibility which will never go in vain," he said.
He said, the Rs 100 crore water supply project would provide potable drinking water to the people of the state capital.
The PM asked the state government to ensure judicious utilisation of the plan allocation while assuring more funds saying that both the Centre as well as the state government are accountable to the people on fund utilisation.
While stressing on tourism and infrastructure development in the state, Modi said that the plan size for Arunachal for the year 2014-15 has been pegged at Rs 53,000 crore.
The PM also inaugurated the Festival of Arunachal and released a souvenir on the occasion.