Seated on the stage, we have the Governor of Rajasthan, Shri Kalraj Mishra ji, my colleagues from the Union Cabinet and ‘sevak’ of this land, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Kailash Choudhary, Minister in the Rajasthan government, Bhajan Lal, Member of Parliament and the State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri C.P. Joshi ji, our other MPs, all representatives, ladies, and gentlemen!
First and foremost, I pay my heartfelt respects to this brave land Mandore of Veer Durgadas Rathore. Today, the inauguration and foundation laying ceremony of several significant development projects have taken place in the sacred land of Marwar, Jodhpur. Over the past 9 years, our continuous efforts for the development of Rajasthan are evident, and we are all experiencing the results today. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you for these development initiatives.
Rajasthan is a state where glimpses of ancient Bharat’s glory can be witnessed, reflecting the valour, prosperity, and culture of our country. Recently, the G20 summit held in Jodhpur received acclaim from guests worldwide. Whether they are citizens of our country or foreign tourists, everyone wishes to visit Sun City Jodhpur at least once. The desire to explore the sandy terrains of Mehrangarh and Jaswant Thada along with the excitement for the local handicrafts is palpable. Therefore, it is crucial that Rajasthan, representing the glorious past of Bharat, also symbolizes the future of Bharat. This can only happen when the entire Rajasthan, from Mewar to Marwar, touches the heights of development, and there is construction of modern infrastructure. The expressway corridor from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, connecting through Jodhpur, is an example of modern and high-tech infrastructure in Rajasthan. The Indian government is working rapidly in every direction, including rail and road, in every sector in Rajasthan today.
A budget of nearly 9,500 crore rupees has been allocated for the development of railways in Rajasthan in this year only. This budget is almost 14 times more than the annual average budget of the previous government. I'm not making a political statement; I'm providing factual information, or else the media will write, "Modi's big attack." In the decades since independence until 2014, only about 600 kilometers of rail lines were electrified in Rajasthan. In the past 9 years, electrification has been completed for more than 3,700 kilometers of rail tracks. Trains with electric engines will now run on these tracks instead of diesel engines. This will not only reduce pollution in Rajasthan but also keep the air clean. Under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme, we are developing more than 80 railway stations in Rajasthan with modern facilities. While there is a trend to build fantastic airports in many places, where affluent people go, Modi's world is different. Wherever a person from the poor or middle class goes, I will transform that railway station into a better-than-airport facility, and this includes our Jodhpur railway station.
Brothers and sisters,
Today, the road and rail projects that have been inaugurated will further accelerate this development campaign. The doubling of rail lines will reduce travel time and enhance convenience. I got an opportunity to flag off the Jaisalmer-Delhi Express train and the Marwar-Khambli Ghat train. A few days ago, I also had the opportunity to flag off the Vande Bharat train. Today, the foundation stones for three road projects are also laid here. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new passenger terminal building at Jodhpur and Udaipur airports also took place. All these development projects will boost the local economy of this region and create new employment opportunities. They will also contribute to revitalizing the tourism sector in Rajasthan.
Our Rajasthan has carved a distinct identity in the field of medical and engineering education. Kota has produced countless doctors and engineers for the country. Our endeavour is to make Rajasthan not only a hub for education but also a centre for medical and engineering excellence, reaching new heights. For this, advanced facilities for trauma, emergency, and critical care are being developed at AIIMS Jodhpur. Under the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission, critical care blocks are also being established in district hospitals. I am pleased that institutions like AIIMS Jodhpur and IIT Jodhpur are becoming premier institutes not only in Rajasthan but for the entire nation.
AIIMS and IIT Jodhpur have initiated work on new possibilities in the field of medical technology. High-tech medical technologies like robotic surgery will pave the way for Bharat to reach new heights in research and industry. This will also boost medical tourism.
Rajasthan is a land cherished by those who love nature and the environment. Guru Jambheshwar and the Bishnoi community have been living this lifestyle for centuries, a lifestyle that the whole world wishes to emulate today. Using this heritage as a foundation, Bharat is guiding the entire world today. I believe that our efforts will form the basis for a developed Bharat. Bharat can only be developed when Rajasthan is developed. Together, we must make Rajasthan prosperous and developed. With this commitment, I won't take much of your time on this platform as there are some protocols. After this, I'll be heading to the open field where the atmosphere is different, the mood is different, and the purpose is different. I'll see you in the open field in a few minutes. Thank you very much!