Press Trust of india

Your dream is my resolve: PM Modi to youngsters

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New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said a developed India will be the India of youngsters’ dreams and they have the maximum right to decide how the country shapes up in the future.

Addressing a function to lay the foundation of railway projects, the prime minister said the third term of his government will start in June, but the scale and speed with which new projects have begun have left everyone baffled.

Recalling the events he attended in Jammu and Gujarat over the last couple of days, Modi said he dedicated a dozen Indian institutes of technology (IITs) and Indian institutes of management (IIMs) and five All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to the country.

The Indian Railways is undergoing a transformation and it will benefit those who are studying in schools and colleges and those below 35 years of age, he said, adding that he has laid the foundation for the work to revamp more than 550 railway stations across 27 states and 300 districts.

“Youngsters have the maximum say in deciding how Viksit Bharat (developed India) will shape up…. I wish to tell every youngster of the country that your dream is Modi’s resolve. Your dream, your hard work and Modi’s resolve is the guarantee for Viksit Bharat,” the prime minister said, addressing the gathering spread across 2,000 railway stations and function sites.

Modi laid the foundation for 554 Amrit Bharat stations, a government initiative to revamp key railway stations across the country, and inaugurated rail overbridges and underbridges.

The prime minister’s outreach to youngsters comes against the backdrop of a surge in the number of first-time voters in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Nearly 1.85 crore first-time voters — in the age group of 18-19 — have registered for the polls likely to be held in April-May, as against the 1.5 crore ahead of the 2019 general election.

The total number of voters aged below 30 years is nearly 22 crore.

Modi lauded the youngsters who participated in various competitions across the country on the theme of “2047: Viksit Bharat ki Railway”.

He said every paisa of taxpayers’ money is being used for the welfare of the commuters.

“There is also a 50-per cent discount given by the government on every railway ticket,” the prime minister said.

“Just as interest is earned on money deposited in banks, similarly, every paisa spent on infrastructure creates new sources of income and employment,” he said, adding that the laying of new railway tracks created multiple employment opportunities for labourers to engineers.

“Whatever India does today, it does it at an unprecedented speed and scale. We dream big and work tirelessly to realise those dreams. This resolve is visible in this Viksit Bharat Viksit Railway programme,” the prime minister said, as he launched more than 2,000 rail infrastructure projects worth about Rs 41,000 crore.

Exuding confidence about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retaining power in the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said the third term of his government will start from June, but the scale and speech with which it has been working have surprised people.

“People have seen a new India being built in the last 10 years,” he said, highlighting the transformation in the railways, including the launch of Vande Bharat trains, an emphasis on cleanliness and electrification of tracks.

Recalling the events he attended in Jammu and Gujarat over the last couple of days, the prime minister said the education and healthcare sectors are also witnessing massive expansion.

Taking a swipe at previous governments, Modi said his dispensation stopped the loot of public money and every penny earned is used in expanding railway services.

“The Indian Railways used to be a victim of politics, but it is the main basis of the ease of travel now and a big source of employment,” he said.

Modi cautioned people, saying the increase in the budget due to the country’s growing economy will not have an impact on the ground if revenue leaks due to scams.

The financial losses of the railways used to be a common refrain earlier, but the national transporter is a big force of transformation now, the prime minister said.

He said the upcoming Amrit Bharat stations will be symbols of both development and heritage.

Modi said the Balasore station in Odisha has been designed on the theme of the Jagannath temple in Puri, Sikkim’s Rangpur will carry the imprint of local architecture, Sangner in Rajasthan displays 16th-century hand-block printing and the station at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu will depict Chola influence.

The Ahmedabad station was inspired by the Modhera Sun temple, the Dwarka station by the Dwarkadheesh temple and IT City Gurugram will carry the information technology theme, he added.

“The Amrit Bharat stations will introduce the specialities of that city to the world,” the prime minister said.

The Amrit Bharat Station scheme was launched for the development of stations on the railways’ network.

It involves the preparation of master plans and their implementation in phases to improve the amenities at the stations through an improvement of station access, circulating areas, waiting halls, toilets, elevators and escalators as necessary, cleanliness, free WiFi, kiosks for local products through schemes such as “One Station, One Product” and better passenger information systems.

So far, 1,318 stations have been selected under the scheme on the basis of proposals received from zonal railways and stations located in major cities and towns.

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