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BJP banking on Modi Govt’s big infra projects in Himachal to sail through in 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Union Minister Prahlad Patel during his address in Shimla pointed out the several infrastructure projects started in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have lost power in Himachal Pradesh owing to Congress’ promise to restore the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and certain local issues but the party is banking on the mega infrastructure projects launched by the Narendra Modi government in the state to turn the tables in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP leaders point out that the party’s foundation in Himachal Pradesh is strong as the difference in the vote share compared with the Congress in the assembly elections was only 0.9%. While the Congress had won 43.9% votes, the BJP’s had got a 43% share of the votes. The victory margin in several seats was very narrow, they point out.

At an event held here to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nine-years in government, former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur highlighted the landmark projects which the Prime Minister sanctioned for Himachal Pradesh, to put the hill state on an aspirational path of development. Union minister for Food Processing and Jal Shakti Prahlad Patel was also present at the function.

“Can you imagine Himachal Pradesh having a Rs 1,471 crore AIIMS at Bilaspur, Rs 3200 crore Atal Rohtang Tunnel, Rs 1900 crore Bulk Drug Park at Una designed to bring an investment of Rs 51,000 crore and 30,000 jobs, Rs 350 crore Medical device Park at Nalagarh,Vande Bharat Express train for Una and PGI Chandigarh’s satellite centre coming-up in just past five years,” he said.

The best of all came to Himachal Pradesh, says Thakur “ Kiratpur-Manali four-lane ,which is all set to cut down travel time to Manali and also shorten the distance by 49 kms. It’s an engineering marvel of its own kind in the hill state after Atal Rohtang Tunnel, which is built at an elevation of 10,000 feet” said f in presence of Union minister for Food Processing and Jal Shakti Prahlad Patel, the former Chief Minister.

The total length of this project will be 159.38 km and the total cost of this historic project is going to be Rs 10,343 crores.

“We have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the newly built highway, where five tunnels between Hanogi to Jhalogi, of total 10 between Pandoh and Aut have already been completed and opened to traffic. He is expected to arrive for inauguration in mid-June,” said Thakur.

Under this project, the total length of Kiratpur to Ner Chowk is 84.38 km, on which Rs 3000 crore has been spent, similarly the total length of Ner Chowk to Pandoh is 27 km and its cost will be Rs 1500 crore, Pandoh to Takoli total length 19 The total length of Takoli to Kullu is 29 km and it will cost Rs 1400 crore and the total length of Kullu to Manali is 37.3 km and it will cost Rs 743 crore.

Jairam Thakur said that with the construction of this four-lane International Direct Route Manali would be of great benefit, the movement of patients coming to AIIMS would be faster and traffic congestion near ACC Cement Plant would be reduced.

In Himachal Pradesh 2,700 kilometres of roads have been constructed in the last five years as the state was earlier lagging far behind in terms of connectivity. Many difficulties were faced in building roads and it also cost a lot of money.

“But in the last 5 years, when our BJP government was in Himachal Pradesh, we gave the highest priority to connectivity of Himachal Pradesh, be it through road, train or air. It is for the first time in the history of Himachal” he told India Narrative here.

Today in Himachal Pradesh, 39,000 total road length is available to the public and if seen in this, 20,000 kilometers of roads have been built under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, if there was no Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, then more than 50% panchayats would not be connected with the roads today.

Thakur said the Congress came to power making false promises. The Old Pension Scheme (OPS) has been Congress’s most potent issue but its implementation is going to burden the citizens heavily because the state with limited resources can’t afford it. That’s why the government, till now has raised Rs 6000 crore loans, closed down 900 institutions, cut down non-practicing allowance (NPA) of doctors and levied new taxes on diesel and petrol.

“The government has no vision on development, infrastructure building and improving connectivity,” he alleged.

Thakur claims that during the Lok Sabha polls, the issues in the state will be entirely different. The party has elaborate plans, including a month-long outreach programme on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nine years of taking mega development and infrastructure projects in Himachal Pradesh’s development to the masses.

He said India was losing its identity during the tenure of the Congress government, but in the last 9 years, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India has created a different identity on the world map and this is the result of the unwavering hard work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.He predicted Modi forming the government for a record third time in 2024.

Earlier Union Minister Prahlad Patel while presenting his presentation to the media said that India has not forgotten the day when it was said that we send Re 1 from Delhi but only 15 paise reaches the poor and the country will not forget this day either. That today 100 rupees is used from Delhi, then the entire 100 rupees reaches the poor.

“Modi ji stood with the countrymen in every calamity, working day and night in their service. India has also seen the day when vaccines like Polio, Tetanus and BCG took more than 50 years to reach India. The Government of India ensured the delivery of vaccine through drones in remote areas” he asserted

The Modi government achieved the almost impossible task of vaccinating millions of people in record time, and that too in the face of the worst known global pandemic in a century. Earlier India was dependent for medicines and vaccines from the West, India developed two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines and supplied life saving drugs to many countries.

Patel said that such a revolution of housing construction for the poor has not been seen before in the history of independent India. Never before in independent India have women played such an active role in household decision making.

There were so many benefits of water reaching every household, earlier the daughters who used to go far to fetch water are now able to give time to their studies because now they do not have to go to fetch water.

New toilets came up, incidence of diseases came down, crimes against women decreased. The Modi government has transformed India and another one year will take the country to new heights.

“India is heading to be a global leader,” he remarked.