The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone, inaugurated and dedicated to the nation various key initiatives worth over Rs. 4350 crores. The projects include the launch of Grih Pravesh programme for beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban and Rural, connectivity projects for the widening of the Agartala bypass (Khayerpur – Amtali) NH-08, laying the foundation stones for 32 roads of more than 230 kilometres in length under PMGSY III and improvement projects of 112 roads covering a distance of over 540 kilometres. The Prime Minister also inaugurated the State Institute of Hotel Management at Anandnagar and Agartala Government Dental College.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister thanked everyone present on the occasion for waiting eagerly for the commencement of the function and also apologised for the slight delay that was caused due to the engagements in Meghalaya where he laid the foundation stones and dedicated multiple projects earlier in the day.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the commendable work carried out in the state regarding cleanliness campaigns for the past 5 years and remarked that it is the people of Tripura who have turned it into a public movement. As a result, Tripura has come out as the cleanest state in India when it comes to small states area-wise. “With the blessing of Maa Tripura Sundari, the development journey of Tripura is witnessing new heights”, he said.
The Prime Minister congratulated the people of Tripura for today’s projects which are related to connectivity, skill development and schemes related to the household of the poor. “Tripura is getting its first dental college today”, the Prime Minister remarked as he said that the youth of Tripura will now have the opportunity to become doctors without having to leave the state. He further informed that today, more than 2 lakh poor people from the state are performing Grih Pravesh in their new pucca homes where the owners of the houses are our mothers and sisters. The Prime Minister took the opportunity to congratulate the women from these households who will become homeowners for the first ever. “Tripura is one of the leading states when it comes to building houses for the poor”, the Prime Minister informed as he praised the work done by Shri Manik Saha ji and his team. He also remarked on the warm reception that he received from thousands of supporters while he was on the way to the venue.
Recalling the meeting of the North Eastern Council that the Prime Minister attended earlier in the day, he gave insights on the discussions of the road map of development of the future for all Northeastern states including Tripura. He informed about the ‘Asht Aadhar’ or eight key points for the development of ‘Asht Lakshmi’ or the eight Northeastern states. Highlighting the double-engine government of Tripura, the Prime Minister said that constant efforts are being made to pace up development initiatives in the state.
The Prime Minister pointed out that before the double-engine government, the Northeastern states were talked about only during the times of election and acts of violence. “Today, Tripura is being discussed for cleanliness, infrastructural development and providing houses to the poor”, he remarked. He further added that the Central Government is spending thousands of crores of rupees for infrastructure development and the state government is making it possible by showing the results on the ground. “In the last 5 years, many villages of Tripura got road connectivity and fast-paced work is already underway to connect all villages of Tripura by roads”, he said. The Prime Minister added that the projects whose foundation stones are laid today will further strengthen the road network of the state, ease the traffic in the capital and make life easier.
“The Northeast region via Tripura is becoming a gateway for international trade”, the Prime Minister remarked as he informed about the new avenues that will open up with the Agartala-Akhaura railway line and the India-Thailand-Myanmar highway infrastructure. He further added that connectivity has got a boost with the construction of the international terminal at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport in Agartala. As a result, Tripura is developing as an important logistics hub of the Northeast. The Prime Minister credited the efforts of the government to make internet connectivity available in Tripura which is extremely useful for the youth of today. “It is due to the efforts of the double-engine government of Tripura that many panchayats are now connected with optical fiber”, he added.
Throwing light on the efforts of the double-engine government to strengthen social infrastructure, the Prime Minister gave the example of Ayushman Bharat Scheme under which seven thousand plus health and wellness centres have been approved in the villages of the Northeast. “Around a thousand such centres are being set up right here in Tripura. Similarly, under the Ayushman Bharat-PM Jay scheme, thousands of poor people of Tripura have got the facility of free treatment up to Rs.5 lakh”, he continued. “Be it toilets, electricity or gas connections, such extensive work has been carried out for the first time”, Shri Modi said. He further added that the double-engine government is working at a fast pace to bring piped gas at cheaper prices and deliver piped water to every household. The Prime Minister informed that 4 lakh new families of Tripura have been connected with piped water facilities in just 3 years.
The Prime Minister touched upon the Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojana which has benefitted more than 1 lakh pregnant mothers of Tripura, under which thousands of rupees have been directly deposited in the bank account of every mother for nutritious food. He further added that as a result, more and more deliveries are taking place in hospitals today and saving the lives of both mother and child. Throwing light on Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) for our mothers and sisters, the Prime Minister informed that the government has released a special package of hundreds of crores for the employment of women. He also praised the efforts of the state government and said, “The number of women self-help groups in Tripura has increased 9 times after the double engine government.”
“For decades, Tripura has been ruled by parties whose ideology has lost importance and who practice politics of opportunism”, the Prime Minister remarked as he lamented how Tripura had been deprived of development. He further added that it was the poor, the youth, the farmers and the women who were most affected by this. “This type of ideology, this type of mentality cannot benefit the public. They only know how to spread negativity and do not have any positive agenda”, he said. He further added that it is the double-engine government which has the resolve as well as a positive path for achievement.
Reflecting on the great harm caused to our tribal societies due to the politics of power, the Prime Minister lamented the lack of development in the tribal society and tribal areas. “BJP has changed these politics and that is why it has become the first choice of tribal society”, the Prime Minister said as he recalled the recent Gujarat elections and credited the contributions of the tribal society towards BJP’s massive victory even after 27 years. “The BJP has won 24 of the 27 seats reserved for tribals”, he added.
The Prime Minister highlighted the development works carried out for the betterment of tribal communities and recalled that it was Atal ji’s government that first arranged for a separate ministry and separate budget for the tribals. “The budget for the tribal community which was 21 thousand crore rupees, is 88 thousand crore rupees today”, he remarked. The Prime Minister informed that the scholarship of tribal students has also been more than doubled. “Before 2014 there were less than 100 Eklavya Model Schools in tribal areas whereas today this number is reaching more than 500. More than 20 such schools have been approved for Tripura as well”, the Prime Minister informed. He also drew everyone’s attention to the fact that earlier governments used to give MSP only on 8-10 forest products whereas the BJP government is giving MSP on 90 forest produce. “Today, there are more than 50,000 Van Dhan Kendras in tribal areas which are providing employment to about 9 lakh tribals, most of whom are women”, he added.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that it is the BJP government which understood what pride means for the tribals, and hence, started celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord Birsa Munda on November 15 as Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas across the country. The Prime Minister informed that 10 Tribal Freedom Fighter Museums are being set up across the country and in Tripura, President Draupadi Murmu ji recently laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya Museum and Cultural Centre. He further added that the Tripura government is also making constant efforts to promote tribal contribution and culture and highlighted the privilege of awarding Padma Samman to the personalities who have taken forward the tribal art and culture of Tripura.
The Prime Minister reiterated the endeavour of the double-engine government to create better opportunities for small farmers and entrepreneurs of Tripura. “Efforts are being made to make the local here global”, Shri Modi highlighted as he gave the example of the pineapple from Tripura reaching abroad. “Not only this, hundreds of metric tonnes of other fruits and vegetables have also been exported from here to Bangladesh, Germany and Dubai and as a result, the farmers are getting higher prices for their produce. He further added that lakhs of farmers from Tripura have received more than Rs 500 crore so far from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. He also highlighted the Agar-wood industry in Tripura and said that it will become a source of new opportunities and income for the youth of Tripura.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister stated that Tripura is now on the path of peace and development with the advent of the double engine of development in the state. “I have full faith in the capability of the people of Tripura. We will speed up the pace of development, with this belief, many congratulations to all of you”, Shri Modi concluded.
Chief Minister of Tripura, Prof (Dr) Manik Saha, Governor of Tripura, Shri Satyadeo Narain Arya, Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura, Shri Jishnu Dev Varma and Union Minister of State Kum. Pratima Bhoumik were those present on occasion among others.