Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated three mega projects in Gorakhpur which include a new AIIMS spread across a sprawling 112 acres, a big fertiliser plant and an ICMR research centre, giving a booster shot to development in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The three ambitious projects have been set up with an investment of over Rs 9,600 crore and have been completed ahead of the UP assembly elections scheduled for early next year.
Addressing a massive rally at Gorakhpur, the Prime Minister said that the BJP’s “double-engine” government which also works at twice the speed of others had succeeded in ending the long-wait for proper healthcare facilities by the people of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
He said that patients from the region will now no longer have to travel to big cities for treatment as modern healthcare facilities were available at their doorstep.
He pointed out that since many years after independence there was only one AIIMs in the country, but since the last 7 years work has been on for setting up as many as 16 AIIMS in the country.
Similarly, the new ICMR research centre that has been inaugurated will help to fight vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and Japanese encephalitis that were prevalent in the region.
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PM Modi said that his government had prioritised healthcare and as result the incidence of dengue in eastern UP had come down by 90%.
Taking a swipe at the Opposition parties, he said while his government had completed the new AIIMS by the targeted date and did not stop work despite the pandemic, earlier state governments had even held back the allotment of land for the project.
It is only when the BJP came to power in the state that work got moving on the project to end the long wait of the people for AIIMS, he explained.
The Prime Minister said that the new urea fertiliser plant will provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs and farmers will not have to face any shortage of fertiliser for their crops.
He said the project was also a major achievement for Aatam Nirbhar Bharat as it will reduce the country’s dependence on fertiliser imports. The PM pointed out that thousands of crores were being spent on importing fertilisers every year and the government was setting up more such plants in the country to reduce the outgo of precious foreign exchange.
The Prime Minister also said that the government was giving high priority to farmers’ welfare and had increased the subsidy on fertilisers as international prices had skyrocketed.
The government was bearing the burden of higher prices and its subsidy on NPK fertiliser had gone up by Rs 45,000 crore while that on urea had increased by Rs 37,000 crore. This had ensured that fertilisers remained affordable for the farmers, he explained.
The minimum price of sugarcane had been raised in UP to benefit farmers and their arrears due from sugar mills had been cleared in time, unlike the earlier governments that had held back such payments, he pointed out.
The oil companies had also been asked to buy more ethanol from sugar mills for blending with petrol, which would generate more income for farmers, he added.