The prime minister Narendra Modi, on a tour of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, made an outreach to people of the state and launched various infrastructure projects in the two states.
He rounded up his day in Kerala where he inaugurated the Propleye Derivatives Petrochemical Complex of the Kochi refinery. He said: “With this complex, forex will be saved, a wide range of industries would gain, and employment opportunities would be generated.”
Then there was Sagarika—the international cruise terminal in Kochi. The prime minister viewed it as a project which turn Kochi as a transit point internationally.
“Sagarika Cruise Terminal will cater to over 1 lakh cruise guests. I urge our young start-up friends to think about innovative tourism-related products. I also urge you all to use this time and travel to as many nearby areas as possible.
“You would be happy to know that tourism sector in India has grown well in the last five years. In the world tourism index, India’s ranking has jumped from 65th to 34th spot.”
The prime minister visited the Vigyan Star campus of the Cochin shipyard and remarked that human resource development capital would be expanded through this initiative. He mentioned the focus on Kochi metro in this year’s budget. He also addressed the Indian diaspora in the Gulf, sharing how Centre had prioritised their safety and return through pandemic.
“India is proud of its diaspora in the Gulf. It has been an honor to be able to spend time with them during my previous visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain. I shared meals with them and interacted with them. Over 50 lakh Indians came back home under the Vande Bharat Mission. Many of them were from Kerala. It was our government’s honour to serve them in such a sensitive time,” said Modi.
Modi in Tamil Nadu
Earlier, in Tamil Nadu, Modi lauded the farmers of Tamil Nadu for their “record food production” and water use.
“I want to appreciate the farmers of Tamil Nadu for record food grain production and good use of water resources. We have to do whatever we can do to conserve water. Always remember the mantra of “Per Drop, More Crop.”
The prime minister launched a series of infrastructure projects, including a section of the Chennai Metro Rail.
“In this years’ Budget, â‚¹ 63,000 crore has been set aside for Phase II of the project. This is the largest amount earmarked for a project in any city in one go. This will help the people of Chennai,” PM Modi said.”The Chennai metro is growing rapidly… It will make everyone happy that we are launching 9-km-long stretch of metro rail, which has been completed on schedule despite Covid by Indian contractors,” he said.
Modi singled out the coastal area of Tamil Nadu which is being given extra attention as the “fishermen community is symbol of kindness.”
“Special importance has been given in budget to develop the coastal area. Extra credit mechanism has been given in budget for fishermen, stressing on seaweed farming to improve the conditions of the fishermen community,” he said, announcing that a “Seaweed park” will come up in Chennai.
The prime minister made it a point to mention aiding of Tamils in Sri Lanka, a subject which is close to the heart of Tamilians.
“Our government has always taken care of the welfare and aspirations of our Tamil brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.”
“Resources given by the government to Tamils are much more than in the past,” PM Modi said. “The project includes 15,000 houses for displaced Tamils. Set up ambulance services for them, built a hospital there”.
Modi also handed over the first Arjun Mark 1A battle tanks (MBT) to army chief general MM Naravane in Chennai today.
The tank which came into public notice three months ago when Modi rode on an Arjun tank near Longewala in Rajasthan, is an improved version of the Mark-1 version of the MBT. The Indian army will be inducting 118 Arjun Mark 1As.
The Indian Army will be inducting 118 Arjun Mark 1As, an improved version of the Mark-1 version of the MBT.
The new version of the tank, which weighs 68 tonnes and features a 120 mm main gun, has 72 improvements — 14 major and 58 minor — over the version currently in service with the Army.
The Indian Army currently operates two regiments of 124 Arjun Mark 1s in the desert sector along the border with Pakistan in Rajasthan. The Arjun tank has been designed by the DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment and is produced by the Ordnance Factory Board’s Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi near Chennai.
While the project began in 1970, the induction of the tank began only in 2004. An improved version of the tank was proposed in 2010, and this resulted in the development of Arjun Mark 1A.
In Chennai, the prime minister met Bangaru Adigalar , a revered spiritual leader and President of Adiparasakthi Charitable trust, who is often referred to as Amma’, by his followers and devotees of the Adhiparasakthi temple.
The prime minister was extended a hearty welcome by the chief minister (E. Palaniswami) and deputy chief minister (O Panneerselvam) in Chennai.
The chief minister thanked the prime minister for announcing new national highway projects in 2020-2021 budget. The deputy chief minister said the resolution of Cauvery water dispute was only possible due to the collective efforts of Amma’s government and PM Modi-led Central government.