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Poll blitz: 50 projects worth Rs 2 trn

By Shine Jacob and Indivjal Dhasmana
March 30, 2019 12:01 IST
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Before the MCC came into effect, Modi was busy laying stones, cutting ribbons, and unveiling plaques across the country.
Shine Jacob and Indivjal Dhasmana report.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi addresses a meeting after the launch of a Kalashnikov rifles manufacturing facility in Amethi, March 3, 2019. Photograph: PTI Photo

In a race against the clock, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi inaugurated over 50 projects worth at least Rs 2 trillion (excluding the Rs 75,000 crore per annum PM Kisan Scheme) and his Cabinet has cleared 94 proposals in 16 days -- all to beat the model code of conduct.

After the code came into effect, the government cannnot announce programmes or welfare measures.

Modi was busy laying stones, cutting ribbons, and unveiling plaques across the country.

He inaugurated projects such as a Kalashnikov rifle manufacturing facility in Amethi, bestowed manna worth Rs 33,000 crore (Rs 330 billion) to Bihar, and inaugurated the National War Memorial at India Gate.

On March 8, the PM launched a series of development projects in five Uttar Pradesh cities, including his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi.


Among the decisions taken by the Cabinet was a new electronic policy, which aims to create a $400 billion electronic-manufacturing ecosystem by 2025 and generate 10 million jobs.

It also cleared a software policy, which lays out a five-year road map to create 3.5 million jobs and promote 10,000 start-ups with an initial budget of Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion), besides power projects worth Rs 31,000 crore (Rs 310 billion).

The rush began around February 15, in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and roughly around the time of the launch of the country's fastest train, the Vande Bharat Express from Delhi to Varanasi.

At Gorakhpur, Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, or PM Kisan, under which around 120 million poor farmers will get Rs 6,000 a year directly into their bank accounts.

On opening the factory that will make the latest series of Kalashnikov rifles, he said: 'Our troops have certainly received a great lead in the encounters with terrorists and Maoists with the 'Made in Amethi' AK-203 rifles. The factory is also bringing new employment opportunities for the youth of Amethi and is also opening a new path for the development and security of the country.'

In two visits to Varanasi, Modi gave the final touches to projects of Rs 4,000 core to Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 40 billion to Rs 50 billion) including projects in health, sanitation, connectivity, power, and housing.

Reports said his visit to Lucknow on March 8 saw around Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion) worth of projects taking shape.

These included the unveiling of a new 660 Mw electricity generation and distribution unit and the inauguration of the Lucknow Metro Rail project.

In Jharkhand, the PM laid the foundation stones of hospitals in Hazaribagh, Dumka and Palamau and launched a few rural water supply projects.

Anxious to keep a focus on Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Modi visited Kanyakumari and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu and Kalaburagi in Karnataka.

As many as nine projects were inaugurated in Kalaburagi and Kancheepuram alone, among them a highway project, a LNG terminal, and the electrification of railway lines.

In urban transport, several metro and road projects got their final touches.

These included metro projects in Nagpur, Patna, Lucknow, Agra, and Ahmedabad.

In top gear

Major projects Modi inaugurated/announced March 8, 2019, 2 days before the Model Code of Conduct came into effect
  • PM inaugurated and laid foundation stones for projects worth Rs 32,500 crore (Rs 325 billion) in Ghaziabad, UP.
  • Projects included foundation-laying of RRTS to connect Delhi and Meerut, inauguration of a new civil terminal building at Hindon airport, and an extension of Delhi Metro's Red Line.
  • PM also inaugurated Phase-II of the Lucknow Metro, apart from laying the foundations of Metro rail projects in Kanpur and Agra.
  • In Kanpur, he laid the foundation stone for the expansion of the Panki thermal power project at an investment of Rs 5,800 crore (rs 58 billion).
  • In Varanasi, he laid the foundation stone for the Kashi Vishwanath temple's beautification.
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Shine Jacob and Indivjal Dhasmana
Source: source