Ranchi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said the last three years have been important for the country with regard to development under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a public meeting as part of the ‘Modi Fest’ here, Gadkari said since 1947 the Congress had ruled for 75 to 80 per cent, be it in the states, Centre or in the districts, and had always raised the slogan of ‘Garibi hatao’ (poverty alleviation).
“But poverty could not be eradicated, the unemployed could not get jobs and the country could not develop,” Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping said adding, the poor only became poorer.
The special thing under the Narendra Modi government is how to eradicate poverty; how to give the poor some relief, and “I feel happy to inform you” that only 3.5 crore people had bank accounts since Independence, but under the Jan Dhan Yojana, it has risen by ten times with 29 crore people now having bank accounts – 60 per cent in the villages and 40 per cent in urban areas.
“Not only the poor opened accounts in banks, but deposited Rs 64,164 crore,” the Minister said.
Describing unemployment as the biggest problem, Gadkari said to provide employment, industries have to come up.
Referring to the Make in India initiative, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, research, use of science and technology, Gadkari said the government has laid emphasis on skill development.
Speaking about other schemes introduced by the Centre, he described irrigation as the most important one and said Jharkhand has the least irrigation facility in the country as the earlier governments did not pay attention to it.
“I feel happy that the Centre has made a provision – Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana – to augment irrigation facilities,” Gadkari said.
Speaking on roads, the Minister said his department has doubled the NH roads from 96,000 km to 2,00,000 km and during the UPA regime, road construction was only 2 km per day, while now it is 23 km per day.
“By March, 16,800 km road contract has been given. When I went to London, World Bank officials said no other country has done it. They said it is a record,” Gadkari said.
On Jharkhand, Gadkari said he has approved a flyover at Ratu Road in Ranchi and promised more roads if the state government wanted.
He said Sahibganj will become a growth engine through waterways. LNG bunkers will be constructed in Jharkhand for filling up ships and 2.25 metric tonne cargo will be transported from Sahibganj.
In all, 1.5 lakh direct and indirect employment will be generated and the Santhal region of the state will have job opportunities, Gadkari said.
“What did not happen in 50 years, we have showed it in three years under the Modi government. We don’t talk, we work,” he said adding, by 2022 farmers’ income will increase by 2.5 times.
“India will grow… People have belief in the BJP government. So, we are getting people’s support in every election,” Gadkari said.