Modi launches development projects in Kerala, says they will energise growth trajectory of India
Kochi, February 14, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated and the laid the foundation stones for a slew of development projects in various sectors in the poll-bound state which, he said, would energise the growth trajectory of India.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Mansukh Mandaviya and V Muraleedharan were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) of the Kochi Refinery, inaugurated today, would help strengthen India’s journey towards being Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) as it will save foreign exchange. A wide range of industries would gain and employment opportunities would be generated, he said.
Similarly, with Ro-Ro Vessels, a distance of almost 30 kilometres on road will become 3.5 kilometers through waterways, leading to less congestion and more convenience, commerce and capacity-building, he said.
"Kochi is a city of trade and commerce. The people of this city understand that time is of the essence. They also appreciate the importance of proper connectivity," he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government of India is undertaking many efforts to improve tourism-related infrastructure in Kerala. The inauguration today of Sagarika, the International Cruise Terminal in Kochi, which will cater to more than a lakh cruise guests, is one example of this, he said
He noted the rise in local tourism due to pandemic related restrictions on international travel. He said this is a great opportunity for added livelihood to those in the local tourism industry and deepening of connection between the country's culture and its youth. He called upon start-ups to think about innovative tourism related products.
Modi said the tourism sector in India has been growing well in the last five years. In the World Tourism Index ranking, India had moved from the 65th to the 34th position, he said.
"Tourists come to Kochi not only as a transit point to go to other parts of Kerala. The culture, food, beaches, market places, historical places and spiritual places here are widely known," he said.
Stressing that capacity-building and future-ready infrastructure are two important factors for national development, he said that the development works of ‘Vigyan Sagar” and reconstruction of the South Coal Berth launched today would contribute to both these factors.
Vigyan Sagar, the new knowledge campus of Cochin Shipyard, would particularly help those wanting to study marine engineering. South Coal Berth would bring down logistics costs and improve cargo capacities. He emphasized that today, the definition and scope of infrastructure had changed. It is beyond only good roads; development works and connectivity between a few urban centres. Through the National Infrastructure Pipeline, Rs 110 lakh crore is being invested for infrastructure creation, he said.
Outlining the country’s plan for development of the Blue Economy, Modi said, “Our vision and work in this sector includes: more ports, improving infrastructure in current ports, offshore energy, sustainable coastal development and coastal connectivity”.
Talking about the Pradhan Mantri Matasya Samapada Yojna, he pointed out that it caters to diverse requirements of fishermen communities. It has provisions for ensuring more credit. Fishermen have been linked with Kisan Credit Cards. Similarly, work is underway to make India a hub for sea-food exports, he said.
The Prime Minister said that this year’s Budget has devoted significant resources and schemes that will benefit Kerala. They include the next phase of the Kochi Metro Rail project, he said.
Referring to India’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) challenge, the Prime Minister recounted the Government’s effort to help the Indian diaspora, specially in the Gulf. He said India is proud of its diaspora in the Gulf. As a part of the Vande Bharat Mission, over fifty lakh Indians came back home from abroad. Many of them were from Kerala.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank various Gulf nations for their sensitive approach to the government of India’s effort to get released many Indians who were in prisons there. “Gulf kingdoms responded to my personal appeals and took special care of our community. They are giving priority to the return of Indians to the region. We have set up air bubbles to facilitate that process. Indians working in the Gulf should know that the full support of my Government is there to ensure their welfare," he said.
"We are at a historic point today. Our actions today will shape our growth trajectory in the years to come. India has the ability to rise to the occasion and contribute to global good. Our people have shown that with the right opportunity they can do wonders. Let us keep working to create those opportunities. Together, we will build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he added.