Kevadia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with reference to the action of his government to virtually scrap Article 370, said on the occasion of his birthday that he was making efforts to complete all the essential work that was left incomplete since Independence.
The prime minister said that the country had taken an important decision with the inspiration of Sardar Patel. The nation, he said, had decided to walk a new path to solve decades’ old problems. “I am confident that with the active support of millions of people from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Kargil, we will be able to usher in a new chapter of development and trust,” he said. The prime minister said that the country was realising the dream of “ek Bharat, shreshth Bharat” (one India, the best India) today.
Addressing a public meeting at Kevadia in the Narmada district, Modi said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh had faced discrimination for 70 years. The entire nation suffered, he said, with their unfulfilled hopes and aspirations due to violence and their isolation.
Birthday of Modi coincides with Hyderabad Liberation Day
The prime minister said that the day of 17 September carried the golden chapter of Sardar Patel and his efforts to unify India. Modi recalled that this day was Hyderabad Liberation Day, too.
On this day in the year 1948, Hyderabad merged with India and today Hyderabad is contributing strongly in the progress and progress of the country, Modi said. The prime minister, who attended the Narmada Festival at the Sardar Sarovar Dam on his 69th birthday, referred also to the Hyderabad Liberation Day and Sardar Patel’s role in it in a public meeting today. He said, “Imagine if Sardar Patel had not had that foresight, how would the map of India be today! The problems of India would have been much greater.”
Government working faster than before
The prime minister said, “This servant of yours is fully committed to the unity and superiority of India.” He said, ‘We have strengthened this resolve over the last 100 days. I had told you during the election; I am saying it again today, our new government will work faster than before, achieving even bigger goals than before.”
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi said that not only Gujarat but farmers and the people of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan were getting benefits of Sardar Sarovar Yojana. He said, “In our culture, it has always been believed that development and protection of the environment can go hand-in-hand. Nature is a gift to us. A living example of how development can be done while preserving the environment is seen in Kevadia.”
The prime minister said that when it came to tourism, a mention of the Statue of Unity is natural. “Because of this, Kevadia and Gujarat have figured prominently on the tourism map of the whole world. It has been dedicated to the nation just 11 months ago but so far more than 23 lakh tourists have come here from the country and the world. An average of 8,500 tourists are coming every day. Last month, on the day of Janmashtami, a record more than 34,000 reached here,” he said.
Modi seeks blessings from Lord Vishwakarma
Modi said this day was the birth anniversary of Lord Vishwakarma, the god of construction, too. “The resolution with which we are moving forward to create a new India, creativity like Vishwakarma’s is necessary. ‘May Lord Vishwakarma bless us’ is my prayer,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister said he believed that, with the inspiration of Sardar Patel, “we will achieve every goal”. He said Sardar Patel’s dream was coming true in front of his grand statue.
The prime minister further said that, for the first time, “we have seen the Sardar Sarovar Dam full. There was a time when it was a big thing to reach the target of 122 m but today the height of water at the Sardar Sarovar is 138 meters and this has been achieved in five years, which is amazing and unforgettable”.
Modi said that Mother Narmada blessed areas like Kutch and Saurashtra as well, where water could not reach for many days. Girls and women had to walk 10 km from their homes to fetch water, the prime minister said.
“There used to be a time when people fought with arms for water,” the prime minister recalled. Referring to an incident of 2000, the prime minister said that the condition had become so bad one summer that it was the first time in the country that a special water train had to be employed to deliver water to the people. He said that remembering the old days, it seemed that today Gujarat has come a long distance. “In the past 17-18 years, almost double the land has been brought under irrigation,” Modi observed.
The prime minister said that the scope of micro-irrigation was only 14,000 hectares in the year 2001 and only 8,000 farmer families were getting its benefits. “Today 19,00,000 hectare of land is under micro-irrigation and about 12,00,000 farmer families are getting its benefits, he said.
The prime minister said that a study by the IIM-Ahmedabad showed that 50% of the water has been saved in Gujarat and fertiliser use has been reduced by 25% while the labour cost reduced by 40% and electricity has been saved, too, due to micro-irrigation. He said that the use of tap water had increased almost three times in the last two decades. “In the year 2001, only 26% of households in Gujarat had water from taps. Today, 78% of the households in the state receive water from the tap. Now, with this inspiration, we have to achieve the goal of water in every house across the country,” the due to micro-irrigation, said.
The Prime Minister further said that Ma Narmada was spreading happiness and prosperity like the paras (a mythical stone with Midas touch) for a large part of Gujarat, not just Kutch. “The Narmada waters are not mere water; it touches the soil and turns it gold,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister said that continuous efforts were on to double the income of every farming family of the country including those in Gujarat by 2022. After the formation of the new government, he said, several steps had been taken in this direction.