In Focus

PM launches National Highway, housing projects at Solapur

A Draft Correspondent | Solapur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched and laid the foundation stone of several development projects during his visit to Solapur on 9 January. Addressing the gathering, he expressed satisfaction that various initiatives have been taken to improve the supply of electricity, roads and water. He spoke about the speedy progress in Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, National Highway projects and Saubhagya Yojana and complimented the state government for expedited efforts towards the goal of universal electricity coverage.

PM Modi addressing the gathering in Solapur

The Prime Minister announced the government approval to the Solapur-Osmanabad rail line via Tuljapur. The line will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 1000 crore and will make it convenient for people from the region and from all over India to visit Tuljapur for pilgrimage.

Referring to the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill 2019, the PM said by providing the benefit of reservation in jobs and education opportunities to the economically weaker sections, the Bill will strengthen the philosophy of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

PM Modi said whether it is the longest bridge, the longest tunnel or the largest expressway, all have been constructed by the current government under his leadership only because his government has managed to crack down on corruption. He dedicated to the nation the 58 km four-lane Solapur-Tuljapur-Osmanabad section of NH-211 (new NH-52). The state-of-the-art project will help improve connectivity of Solapur with Marathwada region and give a boost to tourism and economy.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of 30,000 houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. He said the Rs. 1811 crore project, touted to finish within four years, will primarily benefit poor and homeless people like rag pickers, rickshaw drivers, textile workers, beedi workers, etc. "Very soon the keys of the houses will be in your hands," he assured the beneficiaries. Ownership of the house will be in the name of woman member of the house or jointly in the name of husband and wife.

In keeping with his vision of Swachh Bharat, PM Modi also announced an Underground Sewerage System and three Sewage Treatment Plants with a total capacity of 102.50 Million Litres per Day (MLD) that will augment sewage treatment capacity and improve sanitation in the city. Solapur has been entrusted to implement core infrastructure elements under Government of India's Smart City Mission.

The Prime Minister inaugurated the combined projects under Smart City Mission - Improvement in Water Supply and Sewerage System as part of Area Based Development in Solapur Smart City, Augmentation of Drinking Water Supply from Ujani Dam to Solapur City and Underground Sewerage System under AMRUT Mission. This project is expected to bring significant improvement in service delivery and improve public health enabled by technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.

Addressing the gathering, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis thanked the Prime Minister for support in the development of the state. Expressing his gratitude for taking up the issue of drought, the CM appealed to the Prime Minister to complete the process for release of central assistance for drought-affected districts of Maharashtra.

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari said that four bridge-cum-weirs will be constructed on Bhima and Sina rivers in the district, keeping in view the problem of water shortage. Mr. Gadkari said that long pending projects such as irrigation work has started again because of the Prime Minister's priority focus on the area, including Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. He said that Rs. 1,200 crore have been sanctioned for Tembhu lift irrigation for Solapur, Sangli and Satara districts.

Speaking on road construction, the Minister said the construction of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi route and Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi route at a cost of Rs. 3.75 thousand crore will commence in February 2019. Citing various road projects he said under the guidance of the PM and CM, land acquisition work has been progressing well and Solapur is changing for good.

Dignitaries present at the occasion

There are 38 sugar factories in Solapur district and two more are being built. Issues of sugarcane farmers are serious primarily because of the global economy. The PM took a historic decision when he declared sugar will be sold at a minimum price of Rs. 29 and made a policy for subsidy to sugar exporters. "This is one of the best decisions taken by the PM for the welfare of farmers suffering due to drought," Mr. Gadkari added.

The Governor of Maharashtra Vidyasagar Rao, Guardian Minister of Solapur Vijay Deshmukh and ex-MLA Solapur Narsayya Adam were some of the other dignitaries present.

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