Bhilai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted in the naxalism-hit Chhattisgarh that development is the only answer to violence and that his government was making efforts to creating trust through development.
Addressing a rally here after launching development projects worth Rs 22,000 crore for the state which goes to polls later this year, he said massive efforts are underway to connect the country through water, land and air.
He listed various initiatives undertaken by the BJP-led central and state governments.
“Development is the answer to any form of violence and conspiracy,” Modi said.
“The trust established through development can eliminate any kind of violence. Therefore, the NDA government at the Centre as well as in the states have made an effort to create an atmosphere of trust through development,” he said.
The comments made here assume significance as this state has been reeling under naxal insurgency and has witnessed large scale violence by the ultras.
For development, peace, law and order situation and basic amenities are required, Modi said, as he inaugurated an expanded and modernized project of the Bhilai Steel Plant, laid foundation stone of IIT, launched second phase of Bharat Net project and flagged off Jagdalpur-Raipur air service.
He also launched first-of-its kind Integrated Command and Control centre in Naya Raipur, the upcoming capital of the state.
It will monitor the entire facilities and services like water supply, power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and internet infrastructure (data centre).
Noting that iron ore and other minerals found in Chhattisgarh have played a key role in the development of the state, Modi said the tribals and people of the state have rights over these minerals.
After the NDA came to power in 2014, it amended the law to ensure that a partof royalty on the income made from the minerals is spent on the development of the people living in the respective region, he said.
Over Rs 3,000 crore was received by the state through District Mineral Foundation (DMF) constituted for this purpose and the money was being spent in the development works, the prime minister added.
He also said that the central government was working towards increasing the income of tribals and those living in backward areas.
The previous UPA government did not even built roads in some areas while the present government has been constructing airports in those areas, Modi said.
He made the comment in the context of the launch of air service between Jagdalpur and Raipur by him today.
He said his dream was to see anyone wearing a ‘hawai chappa’ flying in a ‘hawai jahaz’ (plane).
He said this was the objective of the ‘Udan’ scheme of the central government, intended to connect small cities and towns by air.
He said people now prefer to travel by air rather than train AC bogies.
The prime minister accused the previous UPA government at the Centre of ignoring Chhattisgarh.
He said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had been demanding an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the state for a long time but his demand was ignored.
When the NDA government assumed office, Chhattisgarh’s long-standing demand for an IIT was fulfilled and IIT-Bhilai was established,” Modi told the public meeting, organised under the state governments month-long Vikas Yatra.
Referring to the Command and Control centre, the prime minister said Chhattisgarh was earlier known for forests and tribals but now it is known for ‘smart city’.
“Naya Raipur has become an example for other cities in the country. The state which had an identity of backward and tribals will now be known for smart city,” he said.
Youth who were diverted from the mainstream have now returned and were contributing in the development, he said.
Referring to the Bastar region, he said it was being talked about in terms of “bombs, guns and violence” but now it will be known for Jagdalpur airport.
Lauding Raman Singh, Modi said he had implemented former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision of development and progress by focussing on stability, giving priority to law and order and peace.
He also spoke about skill development and said the state was witnessing a change because of several infrastructure projects.
“This place is not new to me. I used to come here in a two-wheeler when it was a part of Madhya Pradesh. Since then, not a single year has passed when I haven’t visited the state.
I have visited all the districts of the state,” he said.
Talking the Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL, he said since Independence, from Kutch to Cuttack and Kargil to Kanyakumari, it has provided tracks to Indian Railways.
Chief Minister Raman Singh thanked the prime minister for establishing an IIT in Bhilai.
He also said that 36 lakh gas cylinders have been distributed to people in Chhattisgarh under the Centre’s Ujjwala Scheme.
This was Modi’s second visit to the state in the last two months. The Prime Minister also interacted with schoolchildren.