Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled multiple projects in Jharkhand, including an airport in Deoghar, besides laying foundation stones for fresh development initiatives. He flagged off a Kolkata-bound Indigo flight from the new 653-acre airport, built at a cost of Rs 401 crore.
Modi said the new initiatives would go a long way in boosting development in eastern India. The prime minister also stated that the projects, totaling Rs 16,800 crore, would give a huge impetus to Jharkhand's connectivity, and strengthen sectors such as energy, health, faith and tourism.
"When steps are taken to improve the lives for common citizens, national assets are created and new opportunities of national development emerge...The new projects not only benefit Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal but also accelerate development in east India,” he said, addressing people here. Of the projects inaugurated by the PM during the day are an in-patient department (IPD) and an operation theatre at AIIMS, Deoghar.
He also dedicated two railway initiatives to people -- Godda-Hansdiha electrified route and Garhwa-Mahuria doubling project -- stating that these would facilitate seamless traffic movement of goods for industries and power houses. Several amenities on Baba Baidyanath Dham premises, including congregation halls for pilgrims, were inaugurated by the PM.
Modi said the airport and the facilities at the temple complex would promote tourism. "Around 70 new locations have been connected through airports, heliports and water aerodromes in the last 5-6 years under the Centre’s UDAN scheme. Today, people can travel on along 400 new air routes. More than one crore people have access to affordable air travel, many for the first time," he said.
The PM also unveiled energy infrastructure projects, including the Bokaro-Angul section of Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline of GAIL. “We are taking many historic decisions for converting deprivation into opportunities,” he asserted, adding that the GAIL pipeline section will expand the gas distribution network in 11 districts of Jharkhand and Odisha.
The prime minister said that efforts had been underway over the past eight years to strengthen the infrastructure of railways, roadways and airways in the region. Projects for which foundation stones have been laid include Ranchi station redevelopment, Jasidih bypass line and a depot in Godda, besides road widening initiatives.
Modi, during his Jharkhand visit, had also embarked on a 12-km roadshow here amid tight security. Enthusiasts, most of them in saffron attire, waited on both sides of the road as the PM’s carcade made its way through the meandering roads of the district, with Modi waving at the crowd and greeting people with folded hands. The PM later offered prayers at Baba Baidyanath Dham temple.
(With PTI Inputs)