Friendship bridge will increase economic growth opportunities in Bangladesh as well: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the “Maitri Setu” between India and Bangladesh through video conferencing.

He inaugurated and laid the foundation of many more diverse infrastructures in Tripura. The Governor and Chief Minister of Tripura were also present on the occasion. Also, a video message of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh was also broadcast on the occasion.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister said that Tripura is realizing the difference between 30 years of previous governments and the ‘double engine’ government of the last three years. In lieu of the corruption and commission culture of the past years, the benefits now going directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

He also reminded that employees who did not get their salaries on time, are also being paid at regular time as per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. For the first time, the minimum support price for agricultural produce has been decided in Tripura, whereas earlier farmers had to face a lot of difficulties to sell their produce.

He also referred to the environment of ease of doing business in place of the practice of strikes prevailing during the previous governments. Now the environment of the earlier lockout in the industries has also changed due to the investments coming. He said that exports from Tripura have also increased five-fold.

The Prime Minister said that in the last 06 years, the Central Government has taken care of every need for the development of Tripura. He said that there has been a substantial increase in the central allocation for Tripura. For central development schemes, Tripura received Rs 3500 crore in the period 2009-2014 whereas more than Rs 12,000 crore has been made available to the state in the period 2014-2019.

The Prime Minister listed the benefits of ‘double engine’ government. He said that in states where there is no ‘double engine’ government, there is very slow work on the schemes implemented for the welfare of the poor, farmers and women. He stressed that the ‘double engine’ government is working to strengthen Tripura. He said that this ‘double engine’ government has transformed Tripura from a power-deficient state to a state with no electricity.

He also enumerated the changes brought by the present government in the state – such as connecting 2 million rural families with pipelines to provide drinking water, 2.5 lakh free gas connections, freeing every village in Tripura from open defecation, 50 thousand pregnant Women to get benefits of Matru Vandana Yojana and 40 thousand poor families get their new homes etc.

The Prime Minister said that in the last three years, there has been a tremendous improvement in the field of infrastructure related to mutual contact. He cited the rapid work done for the airport in Tripura, internet facility through sea, railway line and waterways. He referred to Hira-HIRA development i.e. highway-highway, I-way, railway and airway-airway.

The Prime Minister said that friendship between India and Bangladesh is not only intensifying friendship but it is also proving to be a strong link for trade. He said that this entire area is being developed as a trade corridor between Northeast India and Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister emphasized that this bridge (bridge) has been further strengthened by the completed projects of transportation and connectivity through rail lines and river waterways during the past years. This will further increase the interaction of Tripura as well as southern Assam, Mizoram and Manipur with Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. Shri Modi said that this bridge will increase opportunities for economic growth in Bangladesh as well. The Prime Minister thanked the Government of Bangladesh and the Prime Minister there for supporting the completion of this bridge project. He said that the foundation stone for the construction of this bridge was laid during his last visit to Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said that now the residents of Northeast India will no longer have to depend on the road only to meet any kind of requirement. He said that efforts are being made to connect Chittagong Port of Bangladesh to Northeast India as an alternative route through the river. He said that the ICP would serve as a fully equipped logistic hub in the Sabroom with storage and trans-shipment facilities.

Due to this bridge over the river Feni, Agartala will now be the nearest city to any international sea port in India. Shri Modi said that after completion of the projects which were laid the foundation stone for widening of National Highways (NH) -08 and National Highways (NH) -208, the ports of Northeast India will be further improved.

The Prime Minister said that the various projects inaugurated today are an attempt to make Tripura a better city. The new Integrated Command Center will help in addressing traffic related problems and crimes. Similarly, the projects inaugurated today for multi-storey parking, widening of roads connecting commercial premises and airports will improve the living standards and ease of doing business in Agartala to a great extent.

The Prime Minister said that with the efforts of the government, the decades old Bru refugee problem has been resolved. He hoped that the package of 600 crore rupees would lead to positive changes in the lives of the people of the Bru community.

Referring to the rich cultural heritage of the state, the Prime Minister said that the name of Agartala airport after Maharaja Vir Vikram Kishore Manikya is a reflection of his vision for the development of Tripura. The Prime Minister expressed his pleasure at being given the opportunity to honor such personalities as Rat Thanga Darlong, Satyram Reang and Benichandra Jamatia in the service of Tripura’s rich culture and literature. He said that local arts based on bamboo are being encouraged under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana, which will give new opportunities to local tribals.

Prime Minister Shri Modi congratulated the Tripura government on completing three years of its rule and hoped that the state government would continue to serve the residents of Tripura.