Mandi (HP), Dec 27 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said it has benefitted the people of Himachal Pradesh to have a double-engine government in the state and at the Centre as the speed of development projects and the implementation of different schemes have got a momentum.
He said this while addressing a rally at the Paddal ground in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi to mark the fourth anniversary of the Jai Ram Thakur-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.
Underscoring the advantages of a double-engine government with less than a year to go for the 2022 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, Modi said the people of the hill state have benefitted a lot over the last four years as various welfare schemes launched by the Centre were implemented in a more efficient manner by the Thakur government.
He pointed out that the Centre launched the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the Himachal Pradesh government initiated a similar scheme called Himcare, adding that a total of 1.25 lakh residents of the state got free treatment under these two schemes.
“Ease of living is the topmost priority of our government and electricity plays a major role in it,” Modi said, while pointing out that the power projects launched by him on Monday would be significant in generating more electricity in the state.
Beginning his speech in Himachali language, the Prime Minister said he had come to Mandi, which is also known as “Chhoti Kashi”, to take the blessings of Baba Bhootnath (Lord Shiva).
Himachal Pradesh played a vital role in shaping his life, he added.
Congratulating the chief minister, Modi said despite the cold weather conditions, the crowd at the rally shows that the people of Himachal Pradesh are satisfied with the achievements of the state government over the last four years.
The chief minister urged the voters to break the trend of alternately choosing the BJP and the Congress to rule the state and asserted that the saffron party would retain power in Himachal Pradesh in next year’s Assembly polls.
Union minister Anurag Thakur talked about various Central projects that were launched in the state after Modi became the Prime Minister, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bilaspur and the PGI in Una.
Earlier, the Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stones of development projects worth Rs 11,581 crore in the state. He also launched 287 investment projects worth over Rs 28,197 crore.
The projects dedicated by Modi to the public include the 111-MW Sawra-Kuddu hydro-electric project with an outlay of Rs 2,081.6 crore on the Pabbar river in Shimla district. The project will generate 386 million (38.6 crore) units of electricity per annum, which will help the state earn an annual revenue of about Rs 120 crore, an official spokesperson said.
Besides, he laid the foundation stone of the Shri Renuka ji dam, conceived as a national storage project worth Rs 6,700 crore on the Giri river in Sirmaur district. The project will generate 200 million (20 crore) units of energy in a surface power house with a 40-MW installed capacity, which will be utilised by the state, the spokesperson said.
The live storage of the dam will be 498 million (49.8 crore) cubic metres, which will fulfil about 40 per cent of the drinking water requirement of Delhi.
Modi also laid the foundation stone of the 66-MW Dhaulasidh hydro-electric project, which will be constructed at an expenditure of Rs 688 crore. The project is located on the Beas river in Hamirpur and Kangra districts.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the first phase of the 210-MW Luhri hydro-electric project – a joint venture of the Centre and the state that will be completed at an expenditure of Rs 1,811 crore. The project is located on the Sutlej river in Shimla and Kullu districts.
The power generated from these projects will help provide grid stability and improve the power supply position, besides adding valuable renewable energy to the grid.
Modi also inaugurated the second groundbreaking event of the launching of 287 investment projects worth over Rs 28,197 crore of the Rising Himachal Global Investors’ Meet, the spokesperson said.
The investors’ meet was held in Dharamsala on November 7-8, 2018. The first groundbreaking ceremony of projects worth over Rs 13,656 crore to turn these proposals into real projects was held in Shimla on December 27, 2019 in the presence on Union Home minister Amit Shah.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also released a coffee-table book on the achievements of the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh. The chief minister welcomed Modi at the Paddal ground by presenting a huge ‘trishul’ to him.
Accompanied by Anurag Thakur, Modi also saw an exhibition put up by various departments of the state government.