Press Trust of india

Congress govts delayed projects, forced people to migrate from U’khand villages: Modi

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Haldwani/Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused successive Congress governments at the Centre and in Uttarakhand of dragging their feet for decades over development projects, forcing people to migrate from their villages in the state.

Addressing a rally in Haldwani, Modi accused the previous Uttarakhand government of being interested only in “looting” the state and doing nothing for its development.

He also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of projects worth over Rs 17,500 crore, including the Rs 5,747 crore Lakhwar hydropower project.

Modi said the Lakhwar project was thought of in 1974 and took nearly 46 years to see the light of day.

“Wasn’t it sinful on part of those who were in power before us to delay the project. Would you forget their sin?” he asked a cheering crowd during the rally at the MB Inter College ground in Haldwani.

“Generations of people in Uttarakhand villages were forced to leave their homes in the absence of roads and other facilities and migrate somewhere else,” he said.

Modi said the Lakhwar project if implemented earlier would have addressed electricity, irrigation and drinking water needs in Uttarakhand hills.

He said there are two approaches–one to keep the hills deprived of development and the other to work day and night for their development.

The prime minister accused the previous government in Uttarakhand of being interested only in “looting” the state and said it did nothing for its development.

In a veiled attack on Congress leader Harish Rawat, Modi said one of those in power earlier said, “You may even loot the state but save my government. Those who love Uttarakhand cannot even think of something like that.”

His reference was to a purported video in which Harish Rawat was allegedly heard negotiating a money deal to buy back the support of rebel MLAs in the state in 2016.

Modi said the implementation of the projects whose foundation stone was laid today are his commitments.

“I am  working with my heart and soul for the development of Uttarakhand,” he said.

Modi inaugurated six projects worth Rs 3,420 crore and laid the foundation stones of 17 others worth Rs 14,127 crore.

The inaugurated projects include three different stretches of the Char Dham all-weather road, which have been widened, Nagina-Kashipur National Highway, Suring Gad hydel project and sewage works under the Namami Gange programme at Nainital.

An AIIMS satellite centre for Kumaon worth Rs 500 crore, Moradabad-Kashipur four-lane road, improved road connectivity with Nepal and an Aroma Park in Kashipur are among the key projects whose foundation was laid by the prime minister.

The Lakhwar multi-purpose project will produce 300 MW of electricity.

The 330 million cubic metres water in its reservoir will supply irrigation and drinking water to six states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

This is Modi’s second visit to the state this month.

On his last visit to Uttarakhand on December 4, Modi had unveiled projects worth over Rs 18,000 crore in Dehradun, besides addressing an election rally.

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