With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that if the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was given more time, then there would have been a vast network of the Metro rail in the country by now
Speaking in Pune after laying the foundation stone of the Metro Line 3, Modi said that the foundation of the Metro rail in the country was laid by the government led by Vajpayee
The Prime Minister said that it was after a gap of 10 years that the government had been able to lend it speed and increase the scale of the Metro rail work.
Line likely to solve traffic woes faced by IT professionals
The 23-km Metro line from Hinjewadi to Shivajinagar is expected to be completed in 36 months. It is one of the most busy routes in the city. The project, being implemented by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), is among the first few to be developed under PPP. The Metro line is expected to resolve to a large extent the traffic woes faced by IT professionals working at the Hinjewadi IT park.
“If Atal Bihari Vajpayee was given more time, then there would have been a vast network of the Metro rail in the country by now,” he said
Modi said the new Metro rail policy prepared by the Centre last year had given the much-needed impetus to Metro rail expansion in the country. “Metro work is going on in a dozen cities and many more cities would be implementing it,” Modi said
“The previous government did not give the required priority to infrastructure development,” Modi said. The PM added that the present government was committed to sustainable development. Modi said that a generation had gone by from 2004 to 2018 and his government’s efforts have been to fulfill the needs of a new India
The Prime Minister said that the programme in Pune was the fourth he attended in Maharashtra on Tuesday
“This is the third line to be started in Pune and I hope the Metro would run by next December,” he said
He said that the third Metro line from Hinjewadi to Shivajinagar would serve IT professionals. Modi said, “The IT sector in Hinjewadi is one of the busiest IT sectors to benefit from the project. IT professionals from all over the country and the state along with local residents would benefit from it…
“The government is focusing on integration of infrastructure and transport. The big strides by the Union government are because of its commitment and cooperation of the local population,” he said. “No one wants to waste time due to lack of connectivity. There should be effective use of time by all… So next generation infrastructure and transport integration is the focus of the government,” Modi said
The new Metro policy was reform-oriented and would ensure last-mile connectivity with Metro stations through feeder bus services, walkways and pathways, he said, adding that the Metro rail was emerging as the lifeline of cities and the government had worked towards extending its network in the last four years
The Prime Minister said that the country had witnessed a digital revolution and mobile phones had become cheap as India had become the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world
“There are 125 manufacturing units of mobile phones now while only two existed four years ago. There has been a six-time increase in financial transactions through the digital medium from what existed in the tenure of the previous government,” Modi said.
PM remembers city leaders
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his speech by naming eminent national leaders, freedom fighters and reformers from the city. He also mentioned that the city was the birthplace of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. However, the Shiv Sena along with the Congress and NCP boycotted the function.