Linking development to politics has cost India: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said linking development to politics has hampered India’s growth as he stressed on overall development to make people self-reliant.

Addressing a public gathering after laying foundation stone for three highways in Haryana, the Prime Minister said for far too long, governments have remained in “dilemma” thinking whether infrastructure developments done by them would be converted into votes. “This practice has been going on in our country for last so many years and this is perhaps the biggest hurdle in country’s development. The priority of any government should be to ensure the development of Dalits, farmers and deprived sections of the society and also ensure their participation in nation-building. But at the same time for overall development and to make people self-reliant it’s important that we emphasize on improving infrastructure,” he said.

Though the PM didn’t name any party, the remark could be seen in the light of the opposition’s protests that finally led to the shelving of the land bill. The government had maintained that the bill will give impetus to infrastructure development.

The key to progress lies in robust infrastructure and efforts have led to rolling out of stuck projects worth Rs 4 lakh crore, he said adding his monthly review of projects with state chief secretaries under the ‘PRAGATI’ initiative had helped in setting things in motion.

Asking states to create a sound infrastructure in order to ensure that development percolates down to the down-trodden and poor, Modi cited Korea’s example of achieving economic prosperity by creating a network of highways.

The three highway projects set to take off in the state are Western Peripheral Expressway, Eastern Peripheral Expressway and eight-laning of Highway section from Mukarba Chowk (Delhi) to Panipat.

Praising the massive highway development projects being planned by road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, the PM said such a plan was never even imagined in the past 60 years.

He said major road and bridge projects under Bharat Mala, Setu Samudram and to connect all the districts with national highways are being undertaken to improve infrastructure. The PM also highlighted the steps being taken by the government in the maritime sector under the Sagarmala project.

On railways, he said they were accelerating the speed of trains in India, besides extension of network. The PM also said he was surprised to know that there were 18,000 villages in India, where there were no electricity poles. He assured that no village would be without electricity in 1,000 days.


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