Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that respect for armed forces veterans and those who laid down their lives for the nation was paramount for the country and pointed out that, with the announcement made yesterday, he had fufillled his promise of delivering one-rank, one persion (OROP) for ex-servicemen.
Speaking after inaugurating the Badarpur-Faridabad Metro Line at Faridabad, near here, in Haryana, he said the cost of implementing the promise would be around Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore, significantly higher than some estimates made earlier.
Mr Modi regretted that it had become a "fashion" to politicize every decision taken by the Union Government for the progress of the country.
Stating that no one should mislead the jawans and the people of the nation, the Prime Minister said that the country would progress not through Raj-neeti (politics), but through Rashtra-neeti (nationalist policies).
Mr Modi said previous governments, over the past four decades, had only paid lip-service to OROP and had never gone into the issue in detail to ensure its proper implementation.
He made it clear the OROP scheme would be applicable to those who take premature retirement from the armed forces and said some people were trying to mislead the soldiers by raising the bogey of "voluntary retirement".
He said soldiers who had to quit service because of injuries and medical disability would be able to avail the benefits of OROP.
"Some people think that soldiers who left service after working for 15 to 17 years will not be covered under OROP. It is wrong," he said.
"We have promised to implement OROP for people who live and die for the country," he said.
Mr Modi said that a significant proportion of army jawans were from Haryana, and therefore, the announcement of OROP would contribute significantly to the state's economy.
Reiterating that development is the solution to all problems, he said the Union Government is taking various steps for India's development. He said the whole world had recently faced economic difficulties, but India's economy had stood firm. He added that all State Governments and the Union Government had to move forward shoulder to shoulder. He reiterated his Government's resolve for Housing for All by 2022.
He said development would ensure jobs for the youth, fair prices to the farmer for his produce, the children of the poor would get good education, the poor and the aged would get better health facilities, and the poor would get houses to stay in.
"That is why my government is working with development as its sole aim. We have only one mantra, one goal, one path and one destination and that is development," he said.
He said the people of the country wanted development. They wanted good roads, good schools and good hospitals and that is why the government was focused on such areas, he said.
Mr Modi said that, if these things had been achieved in the past 60 years, the country would have crossed great heights by now.
"But a lot of such work is incomplete and that does not mean that I just that I can just criticise past governments and not do anything about it. It is this government's responsibility to solve just problems and find new ways of ensuring development to take the nation to new heights," he said.
He said the government had accorded the highest priority to infrastructure, including railways and roads. He said his government had taken up a mission to ensure housing for all by 2022, when the nation would celebrate the 75th year of independence.
Mr Modi said the new metro line owuld be further extended to Ballabhgarh in the coming years.
The Prime Minister travelled from Janpath in Central Delhi to Bata Chowk in Faridabad, a distance of 32 km, and back, by metro. In the course of the journey, he interacted with several people, especially youth, who were also travelling on board the train.
The Badarpur – Escorts Mujesar (Faridabad) Metro corridor is 13.875 kilometres long and is an extension of the presently operational ITO – Badarpur section (Line 6) of the Delhi Metro.
There are nine elevated stations in this section: Sarai, NHPC Chowk, Mewala Maharajpur, Sector – 28, Badkal Mor, Old Faridabad, Neelam Chowk Ajronda, Bata Chowk and Escorts Mujesar. This corridor is also being extended up to Ballabhgarh now.
Inside Delhi, the corridor is being further extended from ITO till Kashmere Gate. After completion, the Kashmere Gate – Ballabhgarh corridor will be 46.6 kilometres long. The estimated daily ridership by the end of 2015 is approximately 1.95 lakhs.