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Modi inaugurates ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh
New Delhi, March 9, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the "Maitri Setu" (Friendship Bridge) between India and Bangladesh today saying that increase in connectivity would not only strengthen the friendship between India and Bangladesh but also prove to be a strong link for business.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura through video conference.
Governor Ramesh Bais and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb were present at the event. A video message from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was played on the occasion.
Addressing the event, Modi said Tripura was experiencing a clear difference between the 30 years of earlier governments and the "double-engine" government of the last three years.
"In place of the corruption and commission culture of earlier years, benefits were reaching directly in the accounts of the beneficiaries. The employees who were hassled over receiving the salary on time were getting it as per 7th Pay Commission recommendations," he said.
"For the first time, the Minimum Sales Price (MSP) for agriculture products has been decided in Tripura where the farmers used to face many problems for selling their produce. The environment of ease of doing business replaced the earlier culture of strikes. New investments were changing the earlier scenario of the closure of the industry. Exports from Tripura in terms of volume had increased five times, he added.
Modi said that, in the past six years, the Central Government has taken care of every requirement for the development of Tripura. There has been a significant hike in the central allocation for the state. Tripura had received Rs 3,500 crore for central development schemes between 2009-2014. It went up to more than Rs 12,000 crore between 2014-2019, he said.
The Prime Minister said Tripura had been transformed from a power deficit state to a power surplus one. As many as two lakh rural households have received piped drinking water and 2.5 lakh free gas connections. Every village in Tripura has become open defecation free, 50,000 pregnant women were receiving the benefit of Matru Vandana Yojana, 40000 poor families were getting new homes, he said.
Connectivity-related infrastructure has seen tremendous improvement in the last three years. Modi cited the rapid work for the airport, sea-link for internet in Tripura, rail link and waterways in this regard. He prescribed HIRA development, that is, Highways, i-ways, Railways and Airways for Tripura.
Referring to the new bridge with Bangladesh, he said the entire region is being developed as a trade corridor between Northeast India and Bangladesh. The Prime Minister emphasized that the rail and water connectivity projects that have been realized in recent years have been strengthened by this bridge. This will improve the connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and South-East Asia.
The bridge will give an impetus to the economic opportunity in Bangladesh also. He thanked the Bangladesh Government and the Prime Minister for cooperation in the completion of the bridge project. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid during his visit to Bangladesh.
He said efforts are underway to connect the Chittagong port of Bangladesh with North-East through an alternative route via the river. He said the ICP in Sabroom will work as a full-fledged logistic hub with warehouses and container trans-shipment facilities.
This bridge spanning the Feni river makes Agartala the nearest city to an international seaport in India. Projects related to the broadening of NH-08 and NH-208 will strengthen the connectivity of the Northeast with the port, Modi said.
"The inauguration of several projects was a part of efforts to make Agartala a better city. A newly-integrated command centre will provide technical support to prevent traffic-related problems and crime. Similarly, multi-level parking, commercial complex and widening of the road connecting the airport inaugurated today will improve the Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business," he said.
Modi aid the decades-old Bru refugee problem found a solution due to the efforts of the government. He expressed the hope that the Rs 600 crore-package will bring positive change in the lives of Bru people.
Touching upon the rich heritage of the state, he said that the renaming of the Agartala airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya was done as a mark of respect for his vision for the development of Tripura.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness at the opportunity for honouring the people who have served the rich culture and literature of Tripura like Thanga Darlong, Satyaram Reang and Benichandra Jamatia. He noted that bamboo-based local art was being promoted under Pradhanmantri Van Dhan Yojna, giving new opportunities to local tribes.