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Those who sacrificed their lives for nation security will continue to live in our hearts: PM Modi
Vande Bharat Express is a successful example of #MakeInIndia initiative: PM Modi
Our efforts are towards making a modern Kashi that also retains its essence: PM Modi

My dear brothers and sisters!

First of all, I pay my homage to the brave son of Varanasi brother Ramesh Yadav ji who was martyred in the Pulwama terror attack. Every person in Kashi, and every Indian is with his family. As the nation's Prime Servant and as a representative of Uttar Pradesh, I also share your emotions. We all are indebted to every family that has sacrificed its loved ones for the protection of the nation. I have come here to seek your blessings and the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and Mother Ganga so that we all get the strength to repay the debt.

This day also marks the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who is the symbol of Swaraj, freedom, self-reliance and valour. My best wishes to the entire nation! During his rule, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had shown us the path following which we could become an empowered nation.

Friends,

Today projects worth more than Rs.3000 crores have either been launched or their foundation-stones have been laid in Varanasi. I had been to three events before coming here. First of all, I became a witness to a major accomplishment related to Railways in the DLW ground. Then I visited Sant Ravidas ji's Temple and laid the foundation stone for his birth place development project. Thereafter, I launched and laid the foundation stone of health and education related projects in BHU. Here, several projects for making the lives of the common man better and easier have been launched and their foundation stones have been laid. Many congratulations to my brothers and sisters of Kashi for these provisions.

Brothers and sisters,

We have succeeded in crossing another milestone in turning Kashi into a significant centre of new energy for New India. Just a short while ago, I have got the opportunity to flag off an engine that used to run on diesel but will now run on electricity. Moreover, the power of the new engine will be much greater than two old engines i.e. it will double. And such work has been done for the first time in DLW. Such an experiment has been conducted for the first time not only in India but also in the world.

Friends,

This work completed under Make in India has once again exhibited our scientific and engineering skill. After the success of this experiment, it will help to strengthen the Indian Railways and to increase its speed and capacity. For this accomplishment, I congratulate the entire team and every person associated with it from its design to manufacturing. And such a crucial work has been completed in the land of Kashi amongst you all.

Friends,

Several steps have been taken during the last four and a half years to transform the scenario of the Indian Railways. The first semi-high speed train Vande Bharat Express running between Delhi and Kashi is a good example. I have received several letters with respect to this train. There is an enthusiasm amongst the people. They are feeling proud of the fact that even though after several decades, India has now got a world class train. However, some people are targeting this train and are making a mockery of it. This is really disheartening.

People who are sending these letters to me are extremely hurt. They say that it is an insult to every engineer and every technician of the country. Every citizen and every youngster of the country should be wary of such people who are habituated to make a mockery of the nation. My dear brothers and sisters of Kashi please tell me... Aren't you feeling proud of our engineers who have built this Vande Bharat Express? Is it right to insult the engineers? Is it right to insult the technicians? Is it right to mock at those who work for the nation day in and day out? Should we forgive such scoffers? Shouldn't they be punished at the right time?

Brothers and sisters,

At a time when all of you are committed to doing something new for the nation and for nation building, I would request you to not get bogged down by the handiwork of such people who are full of negativity.

I would like to tell the engineers, technicians and every worker of Chennai Rail Coach Factory that the nation is proud of you. I salute their hard work. Engineers and professionals like you will successfully build as well as run the bullet trains in the future.

As a result of the hard work of all the engineers and workers of Railways that the work of laying the tracks and doubling and electrification work of the tracks is going on at double the pace. The electrification work of the 123 km section between Prayagraj and Banaras has been completed. Besides, Manduadih- Varanasi, Lohata- Bhadohi and Bhadohi- Janghai rail lines doubling work has also been completed. Besides railway tracks, you can also see the development of modern facilities at the stations.

Brothers and sisters,

Besides railways, work on roads has either already been completed or will begin today. The Panch Koshi Marg has also been redeveloped and is ready for use. All work related to roads and railways within and around Varanasi is not only making transportation easier for the people but also benefitting the farmers and the businessmen. Paths of new enterprises are opening up in Banaras and Purvanchal.

Friends,

We are striving to make Banaras Hindu University as the most important centre of education and health keeping in line with the dreams of Mahamana. Just a short while ago, a commemorative postage stamp was released for celebrating 100 years of BHU. Besides, two important centres - Central Research Centre and Super Computing Centre of BHU, IIT have also been started today.

The Super Computing Centre 'Param Shivay' will provide an impetus to the National Super Computing Centre. In a way, it is going to provide a direction to Baba's holy land in terms of technology, research and development.

Friends,

Besides, of the two cancer hospitals that have been dedicated today, one is located in BHU and the other in Lahartara. The cancer hospital of BHU was ready in just 10 months. This was done in record time. The two hospitals will work together. The hospital at Lahartara has a number of modern equipment for treatment of cancer; one of them is state-of-the-art equipment - Bhabatron.

Friends,

The cancer patients of this area and especially of Purvanchal were compelled to go to big cities due to lack of availability of appropriate treatment. Now modern treatment of cancer will be possible within Varanasi only. It will benefit the patients of not only U.P but also Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Brothers and sisters,

An ESIC hospital with a capacity of 150 bed and Health and wellness center for labourer friends have also been dedicated today at Pandepur. All these facilities of modern treatment will prove to be all the more beneficial for those poor families that are going to receive free treatment up to Rs.5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat Yojana. There are about 1 crore 20 lakh such families in UP of which 38 thousand patients have already received free treatment.

It has not even been 150 days since the scheme was launched. Just a short while ago, I met such beneficiaries who had lost hope with their lives due to lack of money. But now they could get best treatment for themselves and become healthy. Your Prime Servant is committed to serve you honestly and sincerely.

In a short while from now, I will meet 'Divyangjans' (persons with special needs) and hand over their necessary devices. When I reached Varanasi a short while ago, I met a few Divyang friends in DLW. I interacted with these multi-talented friends for long. One could paint beautifully, another was Paralympic athlete and yet another was a national level shooter. One child was a champion of mimicry. I wish for their bright future and good health.

Brothers and sisters,

Besides healthcare, the work of revamping Kashi and the adjacent areas is also progressing relentlessly. All the facilities such as projects promoting tourism or the Integrated Command Centre related to Kashi Smart City will transform the image of Banaras. At the same time, the construction of the Sewage Treatment Plant at Goithaha will prevent the effluent from flowing into Ganga ji from Varuna. This will give a boost to the clean-up campaign of Ganga. The entire world is praising the contributions made by you all the people of Kashi for making Mother Ganga clean.

Friends,

Kashi will become smart while keeping its values intact. The work of giving a magnificent form to the divine complex of Baba Vishwanath is also progressing at a rapid pace. The virtual museum in Manmahal, the pride of Kashi, will provide a new experience to the tourists. Several projects have been started to preserve the art and cultural heritage of Kashi in this virtual museum.

Friends,

Our government has started the Rashtriya Gokul Mission to develop and make the country's indigenous cattle breeds healthy. Extending the project, a decision has been taken in this year's budget to set up a Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog. This commission will be for conservation, protection and development of cows and to effectively implement laws related to them.

Two Kanha Centres will be set up in Banaras, the foundation-stones of which have been laid today. These two centres will further strengthen the spirit of our service to mother cow.

Brothers and sisters,

The government has also taken steps for the people engaged with pisciculture. In this year's budget, it was decided that a separate department will be created to look at the various aspects related to fish farming. A fund of Rs.7000 crores has been created for pisciculture and the government has already made an arrangement for loans through Kisan Credit Cards.

Friends,

Our government is pushing development in two tracks simultaneously. The first track is that of infrastructure like highways, railways, airways, electricity, internet etc. And the other track is that of the poor, farmers, workers, middle class and the honour of mothers and sisters. We are working towards making these things better. Walking on these two tracks simultaneously, the government has announced several major schemes in this year's budget. Those farmer families who have less than 5 acres of land are covered under a scheme named PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.

And I would like the people of Kashi to understand it carefully so that you can give a befitting reply to those spreading rumours and lies. Will you give a befitting reply? Sure? Okay! Now listen. You must have seen that tall promises were made for loan waivers once in 10 years but only Rs.50-55 thousand crores of loans were waived. And in a village of 100 farmers, loans of merely 20 or 25 farmers were waived. The rest didn't receive the benefit. Under the scheme that we have formulated, Rs.7.5 lakh crores will be deposited into the bank accounts of the farmers in the next 10 years. On one hand 50-55 thousand crores while on the other hand 7.5 lakh crores!

This will directly benefit about 2.25 crore farmer families of UP. The farmers can now use that amount for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Now they will no longer be dependent upon the moneylenders for loans with high interest rates.

Brothers and sisters,

The country is able to stride over these two tracks of development at a rapid pace because Kashi, Uttar Pradesh and the entire nation had voted for a strong government with a complete majority in the last elections.

You can clearly see that in Banaras that the foundation-stones of whichever projects were laid had been completed and dedicated to you. Now that we have started on the path of building New India, UP is capable of strengthening this conviction. With this belief, I once again congratulate you all for these various facilities. I am also grateful to you all as you have come here in large numbers to shower your blessings.

With both your fists up in the air, say aloud with me -

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Thanks a lot!

Pariksha Pe Charcha with PM Modi
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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.