PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry will witness 'double engine' growth if the BJP-led NDA is voted to power in the Union territory, said Union Minister for Road, Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari, while seeking the cooperation of the people in bringing the alliance to power.
One engine will be that of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the other will be the BJP alliance government in the state to propel growth, he said, briefing newsmen at a press conference at the state BJP office on Monday. Though the Centre supported the previous government, which was from a different party, some of the sanctioned projects did not materialise. As it is the responsibility of the state to implement the projects granted by the Centre, all obstacles will be removed if there is a NDA government in the state too, he said.
Stating that the Centre has allotted more funds for road infrastructure development in five years than were allotted in 50 years, Gadkari said that Rs 20,000 crores of infrastructure projects have been sanctioned for Puducherry and Tamil Nadu which will bring tremendous change in the socio-economic life of the people of the Union territory.
These projects are at various stages of implementation -- while some are in the bidding stage, some are seeing the finalisation of detailed project reports (DPR) and others are under implementation. The DPRs for flyovers (grid separators) at Rajiv Gandhi square and Indira Gandhi squares in Puducherry, which have been sanctioned for Rs 232 crores and 196 crores, are in the final stage and work would start in six months, said Gadkari.
The development of the mini port sanctioned at Rs 305 crore under the Sagarmala project is being executed in three phases. This will pave the way for economic development. The first phase is for Rs 75 crores (capital dredging to increase draft of harbour mouth and channel and barrier for drainage), second phase Rs 60 crores (berthing facilities in old port) and third phase Rs 170.20 crores (container terminal and berthing in new port). When implemented, it will change the economy of Puducherry, he said.
Fishing would be promoted by giving fishermen trawlers that had been developed by the Cochin shipyard. At present, the boats of fishermen can go up to 10 nautical miles, but these trawlers can go up to 100 nautical miles where they can get an enhanced productivity of seven times to boost the blue economy. Through the MSME and Ministry of Fisheries, assistance would be extended to fishermen to get the trawlers. The port will also facilitate fishermen in exporting the catch. Puducherry will become a centre for fishing, packaging processing and export.
When asked about statehood, Gadkari said, "100 percent we will think about it. We will do everything possible to ensure that Puducherry is well developed."
Refuting Narayanasamy’s charge that the Centre is planning to merge Puducherry with Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring states, Gadkari said it is false propaganda to mislead people.
Later, addressing a public meeting in support of the NDA candidates, Gadkari said that Puducherry will be made an important state in the country by eradicating poverty and unemployment. Though in the past there was a Congress government both at the Centre and in the Union territory, no development was achieved, he said, adding that when the NDA came to power in the Union territory, the governance of the two parties could be compared.
If the BJP alliance comes to power here, it will ensure employment opportunities and development of the economy of the UT, Gadkari said. Tourism and marine exports will achieve development in a new dimension, he said, adding that unemployment and poverty will be eradicated from the Union territory.
To ensure Puducherry’s development at bullet train speed, the people of the Union territory should support the NDA and elect it to power, he said, adding that he strongly believes that the NDA will register a victory in the April 6 assembly elections here.
Gadkari also released the list of central schemes sanctioned by the central government for Puducherry.