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Modi launches power and urban development projects in Kerala
New Delhi, February 19, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated various projects in poll-bound Kerala, inncluding the Pugalur-Thrissur Power Transmission Project, Kasaragod Solar Power Project and a Water Treatment Plant at Aruvikkara through video conference.
He also laid the foundation stone of Integrated Command and Control Centre and Smart Roads Project in Thiruvananthapuram during the event.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister for Power Raj Kumar Singh and Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri were amongst those present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the development works starting today are spread across all parts of Kerala and cover a wide range of sectors. They will power and empower the state, whose people are making rich contributions to India’s progress.
He said that the 2000 Megawatt state-of-the-art Pugalur-Thrissur High Voltage Direct Current system inaugurated today is the first HVDC interconnection of Kerala with National Grid and will facilitate transfer of huge quantum of power to meet the growing power demands of the State. This is also the first time the VSC converter technology has been introduced in the country for transmission.
He pointed out that Kerala is largely dependent on import of power from the National Grid due to the seasonal nature of its internal power generation and the HVDC system will help to bridge the gap. He expressed happiness that the HVDC equipment used in this project has been made in India and gives strength to the AatmaNirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) movement.
The Prime Minister said the country's gains in solar energy ensure a stronger fight against climate change, a boost for entrepreneurs. He said farmers are also being connected with the solar sector to help the "Annadatas" also become "Urjadatas".
He said that, under PM-Kusum Yojana, more than 20 lakh solar power pumps are being given to farmers. He added that in the last six years, India’s solar energy capacity has increased 13 times. India has also brought the world together through the International Solar Alliance.
Modi said India's cities are engines of growth and powerhouses of innovation. "Our cities are seeing three encouraging trends: Technological development, favourable demographic dividend and increasing domestic demand," he said.
The Prime Minister said the Integrated Command and Control Centres under the Smart Cities Mission are helping cities in better urban planning and management. He said 54 Command Centre projects have become operational and 30 such projects are at various stages of implementation. He said that these centres were especially useful during the pandemic days.
Under the Smart Cities Mission, the two Kerala Smart Cities -- Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram -- have made significant progress. He said 27 projects worth Rs 773 crore were completed and 68 projects worth about Rs 2000 crore are in the pipeline.
The Prime Minister said AMRUT is helping cities expand and upgrade their wastewater treatment infrastructure. A total of 175 water supply projects are being taken up in Kerala under AMRUT at a cost of more than Rs 1,100 crore. Universal coverage is provided in 9 AMRUT cities.
He said the Aruvikkara Water Treatment Plant inaugurated today had been set up at a cost of Rs. 70 crore. This would improve the lives of around 13 lakh citizens and this will help increase per capita water supply in Thiruvananthapuram to 150 litres per day from 100 litres per day supplied earlier.
Modi also said India was on the way to becoming self-reliant in the areas of defence and space.
"There have been path-breaking reforms in defence, and space sectors. These efforts will create opportunities for so many talented Indian youngsters," he said.
He said India was investing in the Blue Economy. "Our efforts for fishermen communities are based on : More credit, Increased technology, top quality infrastructure and supportive government policies," he said, adding that Government policies will ensure India becomes a hub for sea-food exports.
"Development and good governance does not know caste, creed, race, gender, religion or language. Development is for everyone. This is the essence of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas. Development is our aim. Development is our religion. I seek the support of the people of Kerala so that we can move forward to realise this shared vision of togetherness and development," he added.