Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated three projects and laid foundation stone for four in Puducherry, covering diverse sectors.
He said the projects in sectors like roads, healthcare, education, culture, sports and marine economy will improve the lives of people and propel the union territory on the path of progress.
Modi digitally launched the projects in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararjan and Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arjun Ram Meghwal.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said India needs world-class infrastructure to cater to its development needs. He laid the foundation stone for four-laning of Sattanathapuram-Nagapattinam section of the National Highway 45-A which connects Puducherry to Tamil Nadu.
Satanathapuram-Nagapattinam section is the fourth package of the national highway, which is being developed in four contract packages. This section covering a length of 55.75 km is being developed at a cost of Rs 2,426 crore and the work is expected to be completed in two years.
Modi said the stretch covering Karikal district will improve connectivity, increase the pace of economic activity and also improve access to three famous places of worship.
He claimed that the Government of India made many efforts to improve rural and coastal connectivity. He said the agriculture sector will gain from this. “Across India our farmers are innovating, it is our duty to ensure their produce gets good market. Good roads do exactly that,” he said.
He also laid the foundation stone for a new minor port. This project under Sagarmala scheme through capital dredging will increase Puducherry’s cargo handling capacity to 4 lakh tonnes per annum, facilitate the movement of vessels and improve livelihood of more than a thousand fishermen families. The dredged sand of 7.3 lakh cubic meters will be used to restore the beaches.
Officials said this endeavour will reduce the time and cost of cargo reaching Puducherry port. The overall project also entails the arrival of terminals thereby boosting tourism and improving industrialization. The project in phase one with Rs 44 crore includes dredging and construction of a barrier to avoid solid effluent reaching the navigation channel.
Modi, who described Puducherry as the symbol of diversity, inaugurated the reconstructed heritage Mairie building.
The project was taken up at a cost of Rs 15 crore to preserve the heritage of Puducherry. The iconic Mairie building is townhall of Puducherry which stands as a reminder of its Indo-French heritage, colonial extravagance and architecture. The building, which collapsed after torrential rains of November 2014, has been rebuilt.
The Prime Minister said the building will add to the beauty of beach and attract more tourists.
He inaugurated a new blood centre at JIPMER blood bank, which has been in existence for 50 years. The state of art blood centre built at a cost of Rs 28 crore, houses facilities like blood donor areas, transplant services, advanced immune hematological and molecular laboratories and academic research and training facilities.
Modi laid the foundation stone for JIPMER’s independent campus including medical college building, hostel, residential complex, auditorium and sports complex. JIMPER’s second campus was launched in 2016 in Karaikal and it is currently functioning from two temporary locations. The new project to be built at a cost of Rs 491 crore by CPWD will give a major boost to Karaikal and surrounding areas. A hospital building with 500 beds is also planned in the second phase.
Stating that prosperity is closely linked to good health, Modi said in the last seven years the country made many efforts to improve fitness and wellness.
“In this context I am delighted to lay the foundation stone for a 400 meters synthetic track. This is part of the Khelo India scheme. It will nurture sporting talent among youth of India. Sports teach us teamwork, ethics and above wall sportsman spirit. With coming up of good sports facility to Puducherry youth from this region can excel in national and global sports.”
The athletics track is being developed at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex at a cost of Rs 7 crore.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for 100 bed girls’ hostel of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) at Lawapet. Built at a cost of Rs 12 crore, it can accommodate 100 female athletes.