Daltonganj: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation of several irrigation projects in Jharkhand, including Rs 2,391.36-crore Mandal dam, which will provide irrigation to 19,604-hectare area in the state and neighbouring Bihar.

Modi, prior to addressing a public rally here, also handed over keys of houses to five beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
Taking a dig at previous governments, Modi said they were least bothered about farmers’ welfare in Jharkhand, and the delay in completion of the Mandal dam project was proof of that.

The Mandal dam, work on which began in 1972, but was stalled since 1993, will be built on the North Koel river in Barwadih block of Latehar district.

The project, once completed, will boost irrigation facilities in Latehar, Palamu and Garhwa districts in the state, besides Aurnagabad and Gaya in Bihar.

“We consider farmers as ‘annadata’ (provider of food), unlike the previous governments who considered them as a mere vote bank,” the prime minister said.

“Earlier, the Congress government had forced farmers to borrow loans and today they are misleading them with promises of loan waivers,” he said.

Modi also thanked the Bihar and the Jharkhand governments for working towards the interests of the farmers’ community.
“I am glad that foundations of several development projects to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore were laid here today. The projects will help in realising our vision of doubling farmers’ income,” Modi said.
Talking about the PMAY scheme, the PM said his government was initially criticised for “offering nothing new” under the housing proposal.

“Our aim is to provide housing for all, be it the rural areas or the urban areas. We do not believe in naming schemes after politicians, the benefit doled out under these schemes is what matters,” he said, adding that the homes provided under the scheme will have all basic amenities, including gas connection, electricity and toilets, unlike the houses provided under the UPA government’s schemes that merely had the “chardiwari” (four walls).

The NDA government believes in transparency, there is no scope for brokers to take advantage of the farmers, the PM maintained.
“We are working Aurangabad by directly depositing money in the accounts of beneficiaries of government schemes. There is no place for brokers in the system,” he asserted.