Inaugurates Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu
Lays foundation stone of underground road tunnel connecting Eastern Freeway's Orange Gate to Marine Drive
Inaugurates ‘Bharat Ratnam’ and New Enterprises & Services Tower (NEST) 01 at SEEPZ SEZ
Dedicates to nation multiple projects related to rail and drinking water
Flags off inaugural run of the EMU train from Uran railway station to Kharkopar
Launches Namo Mahila Shashaktikaran Abhiyaan
Thanks Japan Government and remembers Shinzo Abe
“The inauguration of Atal Setu exemplifies India's infrastructural prowess and underscores the country's trajectory towards a 'Viksit Bharat'”
“For us, every project is a medium for the creation of New India”
“Atal Setu presents a picture of Viksit Bharat”
“Earlier, multi million crore scams were part of discussion, today the discussions revolve around the completion of projects worth thousands of crores”
“Modi's guarantee begins where expectations from others end”
“Mahila Kalyan is the foremost guarantee of any double engine government in any state”
“Today, there are mega-campaigns to improve the lives of the poor and also mega-projects in every corner of the country”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated, dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 12,700 crore in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra today. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister inaugurated Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu built at a cost of more than Rs 17,840 crores in Navi Mumbai. The development projects being inaugurated today include sectors of road and rail connectivity, drinking water, gems and jewellery and women empowerment

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today is a historic day not only for Mumbai and Maharashtra but also for the resolve of ‘Viksit Bharat’. “Even though these development projects are taking place in Mumbai, the entire nation’s eyes are glued to it”, Shri Modi said. Referring to the inauguration of India’s longest sea bridge Atal Setu, the Prime Minister said that it is proof of the commitment towards India’s growth. Today’s occasion, the Prime Minister said, is also a symbol of accomplishment through resolution as he recalled laying the foundation stone for MTHL Atal Setu on December 24, 2016. He reiterated the government’s commitment towards completing large-scale projects as he pointed out that the citizens during the past were left hopeless owing to the negligent attitude prevalent during previous governments. “The country will move forward and the country will progress. This was Modi’s guarantee in 2016”, the Prime Minister said, “I dedicate Atal Setu to Mumbaikars and the nation bowing before Chhatrapati Shivaji, Mumba Devi and Siddhivinayak.” He lauded the on-time completion of MTHL Atal Setu owing to the disruptions caused during the coronavirus pandemic and said that the inauguration, dedication or foundation stone laying of any development project is not a photo opp but it is a medium for the creation of India. “Every such project contributes to the development of a magnificent India”, the Prime Minister said.

Referring to today’s projects which are in the areas of roads, railways, metro and water, and business-related infrastructure, the Prime Minister said that most of these projects were initiated when there was double engine government in the state and lauded the team's efforts led by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Shri Ajit Pawar.

Expressing gratitude for the presence and blessings of women, the Prime Minister said “The guarantee of empowerment of the daughters and sisters given by Modi is being carried forward by the Maharashtra government”. He pointed out that schemes like Mukhyamantri Mahila Sakshmikaran Abhitan, Nari Shaktidoot application and Lek Ladki Yojana are efforts in that direction. “Coming forward with women and leading the movement for Viksit Bharat is very critical. Removal of every obstacle in the path of our mother and daughters and ensuring ease of life for them is a priority for our government”, he added. He listed schemes like Ujjwala, Ayushman Card, Jan Dhan Accounts, pucca houses under PM Awas, Matru Vandana, 26-week maternity leave, and Sukanya Samridhi accounts to illustrate the concern for women's needs. “Mahila Kalyan is the foremost guarantee of any double-engine government in any state”, he added.

He said that Atal Setu is filling everyone with pride for its size, ease of travel, engineers and scale. He informed that the steel used in the project is sufficient to construct 4 Hawara Bridges and 6 Statue of Liberty. The Prime Minister thanked the Government of Japan for their assistance and remembered Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We had resolved to complete the construction of this bridge as quickly as possible”, PM Modi recalled.

“Atal Setu is the acclamation of the aspirations that the entire nation made in 2014”, the Prime Minister remarked. Recalling the time before the 2014 elections when the Prime Minister visited Raigarh Fort and spent time at Shivaji’s samadhi, he said that the nation has witnessed the dreams and resolutions taken 10 years ago, come true today. “Atal Setu is a reflection of this belief and it presents a picture of Viksit Bharat”, he said underlining that MHTL Atal Setu instils new beliefs among the youth. “Viksit Bharat will consist of services and prosperity for all. It will have speed and progress which will bring the world closer. Life and livelihood will continue to flourish. This is the message of Atal Setu”, the Prime Minister said.

Throwing light on the transformations brought about in India in the past 10 years, the Prime Minister pointed out that the image of a transformed India becomes even clearer when one recalls the India before 2014. “Earlier, multi million crore scams were part of discussion, today the discussions revolve around the completion of projects worth thousands of crores”, Shri Modi exclaimed. He gave examples of the completion of Bhupen Hazarika Setu and Bogibeel Bridge in the Northeast, Atal Tunnel and Chenab Bridge, multiple expressways, modern railway stations, Eastern and Western freight corridor, Vande Bharat, Amrit Bharat and Namo Bharat trains, and inauguration of new airports.

Giving examples of recent mega development projects in Maharashtra, the Prime Minister mentioned the inauguration of Bala Saheb Thackrey Samruddhi Mahamarg and the ongoing work on Navi Mumbai Airport and Coastal Road Project which is bound to change the face of connectivity in Mumbai. He also touched upon the underground road tunnel connecting Eastern Freeway's Orange Gate to Marine Drive to further increase ease of travel. “Soon, Mumbai will also get its first bullet train”, he added, “Delhi-Mumbai Economic Corridor will connect Maharashtra with Central and Northern India. Transmission line networks are also being laid to connect Maharashtra with Telangana, Chhattisgarh and other neighboring states. Big projects of oil and gas pipeline, Aurangabad Industrial City, Navi Mumbai Airport, and Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Park are going to give a new impetus to the economy of Maharashtra.”

The Prime Minister illustrated how the taxpayer’s money is being used for the nation’s development and contrasted it with the callous misuse of this money earlier. He talked about the Nilwande Dam project started 5 decades ago and completed by the current government and work on the Uran-Kharkopar railway line was started 3 decades ago, fast-tracked by the double-engine government and the first phase dedicated to the nation today. Similarly, the first phase of Navi Mumbai Metro Project was completed after a long delay. He informed that even Atal Setu was in planning for 5-6 decades. and Bandra-Worli SeaLink, a 5 times smaller project took more than 10 years and the budget increased by 4-5 times.

The Prime Minister informed that the construction of Atal Setu involved employing around 17,000 laborers and 1500 engineers while also creating employment opportunities in the transport and construction industries. “Atal Setu will strengthen all business activities in the region and also boost Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Life”, he added.

“Today, India is progressing simultaneously on two fronts”, PM Modi emphasized. He said that on the one hand, the government is running mega campaigns to improve the livelihood of the poor, while major projects are being run in every part of the country on the other. The Prime Minister mentioned, contrasting Atal Pension Yojna and Atal Setu, Ayushman Bharat Yojna and Vande Bharat-Amrit Bhart trains, PM Kisan Sammanidhi and PM Gatishakti. The Prime Minister credited the intention and loyalty of the government towards citizens while also lamenting the intentions of the previous governments who were power-hungry and focused on their own families rather than the common populace. Throwing light on the lack of development, the Prime Minister informed that a budget of only Rs 12 lakh crore was given for infrastructure in the 10 years before 2014 whereas a budget of Rs 44 lakh crore for infrastructure has been presented in the 10 years of the present government. “In Maharashtra alone, the Central Government has either completed infrastructure projects worth about Rs 8 lakh crore or work on them is in progress. This amount is also increasing new employment opportunities in every sector”, he added.

Referring to the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, the Prime Minister said “Modi's guarantee begins where expectations from others end.” He mentioned cleanliness, education, medical help and earning-related schemes that have benefitted women the most. PM Jan Aushadhi Kendras, SVANidhi, PM Awas and help to Self Help Groups are creating ‘Lakhpati Didis’. The Prime Minister said that the goal is to create 2 crore ‘Lakhpati Didis’. Maharashtra Government schemes are also working in this direction. “I assure you that the double-engine government will continue to work with the same dedication for the development of Maharashtra. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Maharashtra becomes a strong pillar of developed India”, PM Modi concluded.

Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Shri Ajit Pawar were present on the occasion among others.


Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri - Nhava Sheva Atal Setu

The Prime Minister’s vision is to improve the ‘ease of mobility’ of citizens by strengthening urban transport infrastructure and connectivity. In line with this vision, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), now named ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri - Nhava Sheva Atal Setu’ has been built. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by the Prime Minister in December 2016.

Atal Setu has been constructed at a total cost of more than Rs 17,840 crore. It is about a 21.8 km long 6-lane bridge having about 16.5 km length over the sea and about 5.5 km on the land. It is the longest bridge in India and also the longest sea bridge in India. It will provide faster connectivity to Mumbai International Airport and Navi Mumbai International Airport and will also reduce the travel time from Mumbai to Pune, Goa and South India. It will also improve connectivity between Mumbai Port & Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

Other development projects

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the underground road tunnel connecting Eastern Freeway's Orange Gate to Marine Drive. The 9.2 Km tunnel will be built at a cost of more than Rs 8700 crores and will be a significant infrastructure development in Mumbai which will reduce travel time between Orange Gate and Marine Drive.

The Prime Minister dedicated phase 1 of the Surya regional bulk drinking water project to the Nation. The project, developed at a cost of more than Rs 1975 crore will provide drinking water supply to the Palghar and Thane district of Maharashtra, benefiting about 14 lakh population.

During the programme, the Prime Minister dedicated railway projects worth about Rs 2000 crores to the Nation. These include the dedication of ‘Phase 2 of Uran-Kharkopar railway line’ which will enhance connectivity to Navi Mumbai as suburban services running between Nerul/Belapur to Kharkopar will now be extended to Uran. The Prime Minister also flagged off the inaugural run of the EMU train from Uran railway station to Kharkopar.

Other rail projects that will be dedicated to Nation include a new suburban station ‘Digha Gaon’ on the Thane-Vashi/Panvel Trans-harbour line and the new 6th Line between Khar Road & Goregaon railway station. The projects will benefit the thousands of daily commuters in Mumbai.

The Prime Minister inaugurated ‘Bharat Ratnam’ (Mega Common Facilitation Centre) for Gems and Jewellery sector at Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone - Special Economic Zone (SEEPZ SEZ), which is the first of its kind in India with the best available machines in the world including 3D Metal printing. This will house a training school for skilling of the workforce for this sector including specially-abled students. The Mega CFC will transform the export sector in the Gems and Jewellery trade and will help domestic manufacturing also.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated the New Enterprises & Services Tower (NEST)- 01 at SEEPZ- SEZ. The NEST-01 is primarily for Gem & Jewellery sector units which will be relocated from the existing Standard Design Factory - I. The new tower has been designed for large-scale production and as per the demand of the industry.

During the programme, the Prime Minister launched Namo Mahila Shashaktikaran Abhiyaan. The Abhiyaan aims to empower women in the state of Maharashtra by providing skill development training and exposure to entrepreneurship development. The Abhiyaan will also undertake the effort towards the convergence and saturation of women development programmes of the state and central governments.

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.


Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.


Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.


Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.


Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.


Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.


Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.


Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.


Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…


Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.


Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!