When Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister, he was handed a legacy of unfinished projects from the UPA regime. Determined to take it to finality, the government decided to revive every stalled and delayed development project – collectively valued at approx. Rs. 5 lakh crore. This was in addition to the new projects that PM Modi had envisioned to place India on the road to progress.
FOCUS ON FINISHING DELAYED PROJECTS
During Congress-led UPA government, many projects were delayed for years due to reasons such as sluggish bureaucracy and large-scale corruption ingrained within the system. However, soon after coming to power, the Modi government made it its mission to not only speed up economic reforms, but also finish those infrastructure projects which were started and then put on hold for decades.
Take the example of the Western and Eastern Peripheral Expressways – both projects were announced in 2003 and expected to be completed by 2009.
However, after several missed deadlines, work on the two expressways finally commenced only after PM Modi took charge. Both the projects were finished and opened to the public in 2018.
Similarly, in 2002, then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation stone for a tunnel that would connect Manali to the Lahaul and Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.
When the PM Modi-led government came to power, work on the tunnel was stalled and only 1,300 meter of its length had been constructed. Due to this delay, the original cost of the tunnel had ballooned from approx. Rs. 950 crore to a whopping Rs. 3,200 crore. It was only after PM Modi came to power in 2014 that the work on the Atal Tunnel was accelerated and finished in just 6 years.
COMPLETING NEW PROJECTS IN RECORD TIME
Delay in any infrastructure project can have severe ramifications on the people and the economy. In addition to causing years of inconvenience to those living around such sites, locals are deprived of expected economic benefits including industrial growth, job creation, etc. But all that has changed under PM Modi.
Take the example of the recently inaugurated Deoghar airport, the second international airport in Jharkhand. PM Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in May 2018.
Constructed at a cost of around Rs. 400 crore, the airport was ready and opened to the public in July 2022. It has drastically reduced the travel time between Deoghar to other parts of the country. The city will also now become a central point for economic activity in the region, particularly for retail markets, as local products can now be exported. Another success story of the fast pace of development under PM Modi is of the Northeast. From water and road connectivity to rail and air, a number of projects – big and small, have been launched and successfully finished.
Today, the region boasts of two new greenfield airports; over 3,000 km of additional road connectivity; and finished projects improving connectivity with neighbouring countries. After 75 years of India’s independence, a goods train reached Manipur for the first time ever! Similarly, several healthcare projects, including setting up new medical colleges and speciality hospitals, are ensuring that people have access to the best facilities possible.
LANDMARK PROJECTS HONOURING INDIA’S CULTURE
PM Modi took number of historic projects that have won the hearts of millions such as Sardar Patel is one of the greatest leaders known to India.
The foundation stone for the Statue of Unity in Gujarat was laid in October 2013 near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, when he was the Chief Minister of the State. On October 31, 2018, PM Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity. Today this landmark is recognised as the tallest statue in the world.
Similarly, when he came into power in 2014, memories of the 2013 flooding of Kedarnath were still fresh in the hearts and minds of millions.
Despite having just 6-7 months in a year for work, and keeping in mind the extreme weather conditions, phase-I of the construction was launched in 2017 and inaugurated by PM in 2021.
The renowned Kashi Vishwanath Dham project is especially close to PM Modi’s heart. Being his parliamentary constituency, PM Modi has been working relentlessly to modernise Varanasi and restore its religious and historical glory.
The foundation stone of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham was laid by PM Modi in March 2019, and he inaugurated the project on December 13th, 2021.
PM MODI, A MAN OF HIS WORD
In the last eight years, PM Modi has gradually introduced a new work culture where completion date is part of the standard operating procedure and is strictly adhered to. He has even institutionalised this dynamic by launching initiative such as the PM Gati Shakti National Masterplan and the PRAGATI portal.