Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a veiled dig at previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as he performed the ground-breaking ceremony for two Metro Rail Projects in Gujarat via video-conferencing today.
Speaking at the "Bhoomi Poojan" of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project, the Prime Minister said over 450 kms of metro network became operational in the last six years.
"Work on projects worth Rs 17,000 crore is starting from today. This shows that the country's efforts for new infrastructure projects is increasing during COVID-19. Ahmedabad and Surat are cities that will empower self-reliant India. Ahmedabad and Surat are receiving very important gifts today. Metro will further strengthen the connectivity in two major business centres of the country - Ahmedabad and Surat," he said.
"These metro projects are being conceptualised to meet the needs of the future. Our cities will get better facilities," PM Modi said.
He further added that during the previous regime there was less significant work on expansion of metro railways in the country.
"Best example to see difference between approach of previous governments and work of current government is the expansion of metro rail network across country. Before 2014, only 225 kms of metro line became operational in 10-12 years. In last 6 years, over 450 kms of metro network became operational," he said.
"Today, we are developing transportation system of cities as integrated system. We are developing cities'' transport system like integrated system, which means that bus, metro, rail will not ply as per their own design but work as collective system, complementary to each other," he added.
PM Modi said Surat is eighth biggest city in terms of population and fourth fastest growing city in the world. "Nine out of 10 diamonds are cut in Surat. In Surat, 20 per cent population used to live in jhuggis and now it is only 6 per cent," he added.
Earlier today, PM Modi had tweeted to say that the Surat Metro and Phase-2 of the Ahmedabad Metro will mark as a "landmark day" for the two leading urban centres in the state.
"Today is a landmark day for two of Gujarat's leading urban centres. The Bhoomi Poojan of Surat Metro and Phase-2 of the Ahmedabad Metro would take place at 10:30 AM," PM Modi said in a tweet.
The metro projects will provide an environment-friendly mass rapid transit system to the two cities in Gujarat, according to the Prime Minister's Office.
The Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II is 28.25 km long with two corridors. The 22.8-km-long corridor-I is from Motera Stadium to Mahatma Mandir, while the 5.4-km-long corridor-II is from GNLU to GIFT City. The total completion cost of the Phase-II project is ₹ 5,384 crore, a statement issued by the PMO said.
The Surat Metro Rail Project is 40.35 km long and comprises two corridors. The 21.61-km-long corridor-I is from Sarthana to Dream City, while the 18.74-km-long corridor-II is from Bhesan to Saroli. The total completion cost of the project is ₹ 12,020 crore, the PMO said.
With additional inputs from agencies