I express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have turned up here in such a large number to bless all of us. Some parts of our country faced great difficulties some time ago due to floods. Several lives were lost and farmers suffered huge losses. Rajasthan also faced this difficulty at several places. The state government has made a submission to the centre and a high level committee of the central government has already visited Rajasthan. I’d like to assure the flood affected brothers, sisters and farmers of Rajasthan that the Government of India is completely with you in this difficult time and also we will collectively make every effort so that we can progress after getting out of this difficulty.
Today, it’s an historic, a wonderful occasion for Rajasthan that in just one program the projects worth Rs 15 thousand crore are either dedicated to the public or their foundation stones are being laid. Making announcements for the schemes; making all kind of promises during the elections; getting the stories of these events published as big headlines in the news papers; and this attitude: you are good, I’m good; this attitude of praising and garlanding each other; this country is used to seeing all these tantrums and it’s been going on for several years and this is the biggest challenge before us. Such a mess is left for us that you can’t imagine what it takes to eradicate all these evils.
All the systems were left in such a broken shape, so many evils have penetrated them that if it was a faint hearted person then he would have lost his nerve but we are made of a different kind of material, we have a habit of picking up the challenges and we have a habit of challenging the challenges and we are capable of completely dedicating ourselves to take the country to its destination by accepting those challenges.
As Nitin Ji was just talking about that bridge on Chambal. The bridge with a budget of less than Rs. 300 crores, and the time of 11 years between 2006 and 2017; this is what distinguishes a government from the other one? That small incident is good enough to understand which government can be called the government who does work? A small bridge costing Rs. 300 crore, it can be constructed in a year or a year and a half, if it was to be constructed in a routine manner then it will take a year or a year and a half. Today, after more than 11 years the project is still ongoing and compare that with the projects worth 5,600 crore rupees. If the friends from media calculate this thing: a project of Rs. 300 crores and the executions of projects worth Rs. 5,600 crore. In 2014, when our government came to power in Delhi these projects were conceived, the projects were started and today within three years the public dedication of these projects worth Rs. 5600 crore is taking place.
We have decided to follow that work culture to finish the projects that have been started during our time. And even if a project has been delayed even then the advantage from it can be taken in one or two elections, a foundation stone is laid, people may get garlanded, their photos can be printed in news papers then it can help in one or two elections. But the project cost goes up by thousands of crores of rupees if the project gets stuck, the project cost swells by thousands of crores of rupees and then there are loss to the objective of the work due to that incomplete project. The entire economy of the country is being consumed by these incomplete schemes. I have to put in so much effort to restart these schemes that have been stuck in this great abyss. As you have seen that the work on this bridge was stuck, it was stuck in court cases. If the decisions are taken with courage, taken with honesty then they produce results. And today, that result is before you, in the coming days the new projects worth more than Rs. 9,000 crore will be executed in Rajasthan alone. And these are mainly related to road sector, some of them for widening of the roads, some for constructing culverts, some of them about constructing new roads and some about modernizing the existing roads. Starting the projects worth more than 9,000 crore rupees in one go; had we started the projects worth Rs. 500 crore today, then projects worth Rs. 500 core after five days and yet another projects worth Rs. 500 crore after a month then we could keep utilizing these occasions for political mileage till the next election in Rajasthan. However, we cannot accept that model. We want to do work, we want to do them within a stipulated time and that is why the foundation stone for projects worth more than Rs. 9000 crore is being laid collectively by making a scheme. And when we talk about projects with such a great responsibility then we talk about them with a commitment to finish them.
And I’d like to assure Rajasthan that we will do it in any case and in any case Rajasthan will be transformed. Infrastructure plays very important role in the development of the country, these are time consuming and costly projects. If we look at them through the prism of politics, people lose patience that is why during the earlier times, the governments, the politicians used to run away from long term projects, long term big projects.
We are fully aware that if we want to scale new heights for our country then we will have to modernize our systems. Be it railways, be it roads or water supply systems or electricity supply or optical fiber network or waterways or coastal connectivity or any other kind of modern infrastructure, now any delay in these things will not be good for the country.
And once these modern facilities are developed it’s not like that you just see a black long line on the land. That long black belt, that road, the black colored road fills your life with the light. Just imagine that how much farmers will benefit from the roads that will be built with the cost of 9000 crore rupees. They can supply their agriculture produce, their fruits, vegetables and flowers with ease. When Atal Bihari Bajpai constructed the Golden Quadrilateral, then initially people said, wow, such a good road is being built, earlier such roads were not there. People were glad, the vehicles used to run fast. People could not talk there.
I still remember that those areas of Gujarat that are adjacent to this part of Rajasthan, be it Sabarkantha, be it the farmers of Ahmedabad district if they wanted to supply their fruits, vegetables, milk or flowers, due to good road connectivity there produce was supplied to Delhi market in a day. And there is a sea change in the income of the farmers of those districts.
Once good roads are constructed then our farmer who faces difficulties in supplying its produce to the city, if there is a delay of one-two days in supplying milk, fruits, vegetables and flowers then 20-30% produce is wasted, consumers don’t buy them.
When a network of good road is created then the economy of the country also picks the pace. Farmers located in far-flung areas get the opportunity to supply its produce to the markets of his choice when there are roads, there is infrastructure. If there is a poor pregnant lady in the village is expecting, if the clinic is at a distance, if she needs to go 25-30 kilometers and if there are good roads then the lives of both mother and child will be saved. But if there are no road then that mother loses her life, this is the importance of road. In Rajasthan, the state’s roads are capable of minting cash. In comparison with other states, perhaps, Rajasthan will get five times more benefit due to good roads as there are long distances in Rajasthan, Rajasthan has a very vast area and tourism is Rajasthan’s strength, tourists all over the world are familiar with Rajasthan. If a tourist wants to visit Pushkar fair, if they want to spend some time in the lake city Udaipur, if the tourists from all over the world want to experience a new life in the deserts of Jaisalmer, somebody wants to visit Shrinath, someone wants to visit Eklinga, there are numerous places in Rajasthan, every corner of the state has inherent power to attract tourists. This such a strong magnetic power that is capable of attracting the people from the world over not just from the people of the every corner of India. And when a tourist visits, he visits to spend his money, to give income to people of this place. And tourism is such a sector in which maximum employment can be generated by spending the least amount of money. Everybody earns, flower seller will earn, Prasad seller will earn, people selling the items required in the worship will earn, auto rickshaw driver, taxi driver, guest house owner, handicraft artisans will earn and even a tea seller will earn. This strength is in that state but if there is problem of traffic jam, roads are with potholes, if there are no proper signage, there is no arrangement for parking, no arrangement for petrol pumps at the right places then tourist may come once but he will keep thinking about going back. These projects of 15,000 crore rupees are not only just creating the roads on the ground but they opening the road of fortune for Rajasthan and I can clearly see this and that is why there is an emphasis on infrastructure projects and government of India is fully committed on spending for this purpose. Because, we want to give India’s infrastructure a modern shape. Optical Fibre Network, how to provide quality education to the children of remote villages, how to provide the same quality education to my tribal brothers of far-flung Banswada that is being imparted in the best schools of Udaipur, in the best schools of Ajmer? This massive project of providing education through digital network, through optical fiber network, through long distance education, through technology to provide new knowledge to new generation, and for that purpose optical fiber network of lakhs of kilometers is being laid. And this optical fiber network requires expenditure of billions and billions of rupees and it is not visible to anyone if it passes through a place. But, what’s in it for me? What is being done for us? These things don’t come to the notice of anyone. However, once it is installed then be it the education to the children, it will provide the facility of good treatment to the patients through telemedicine, it will pave the way for his treatment, the rural people will get the facilities like the cities. Can you imagine what a sea change it will bring in the life of India’s villages? We have been taking the work forward by emphasizing on that infrastructure.
Just now, the chief minister was talking about the Ujjwala scheme that millions of poor mothers and sisters have got the gas stove. When a poor mother cooks food on a wood based stove then she inhales the smoke equal to smoking 400 cigarettes, who will care about those mothers, those kids who are in the playing age? And there was a time when great effort was required to get a gas connection. How difficult it was, recommendations of several politicians were required. This is a government that has been running the scheme to provide gas connections to the poor at their doorsteps and it has provided gas connections to millions of people.
Today, roads and railroads are constructed at twice the pace of earlier time, we have also increased the speed, scale and scope of the projects be it water supply project or optical fiber project, and we have also succeeded in making these things modern by improving the skills.
GST has just been launched, initially people thought, it was an unique thing for the world that such a massive country of 1.25 billion people and it can change one of its system overnight and the 1.25 billion citizen of this country adjust themselves with the new system. This reflects the strength of India. Friends, everybody will be proud of the fact that the small traders of our country who are located in villages now have a desire to become modern by using technology and I’d like, I’d especially urge the officers of Rajasthan to run a campaign for 15 days to connect every small trader of the villages if he has a turnover of less than 20 lakh rupees and even if he has a turnover of less than 10 lakh rupees, please connect those traders with GST so that even that poor trader can get the benefits of the GST, he must get the benefits of the GST. If he is not connected then the chain will break, it will stop somewhere and the benefits will not percolate down to the last person, this thing should be taken up like a campaign.
And you see, you would not have imagined that it will result in such a big increase in the revenues of Rajasthan and as a result of it the government can take up several new schemes for the welfare of the poor people of Rajasthan.
Due to GST alone in the transportation sector, a department that is also being looked after by our Nitin Ji, if earlier a driver used to set out on a journey from his place to supply goods at a coastal port, and if we calculate the kilometers and speed of the truck, then it can reach there in three days. However, earlier there were road check posts everywhere, all kind of check posts, and everyone knows what happens, how things are done at road check posts, that poor fellow used to reach at his destination in five days. If a truck is lying unused for just two days in a week then it causes more than 25% loss to the transportation sector of the country’s economy. After the implementation of GST all these road posts have been abolished, and the truck driver that used to be stuck, all these requirements of red pass and blue pass, this all has gone. Earlier he used to reach in five days and now he reaches in three days. And it has brought down the cost of transportation and the income of transporters has gone up. And I am asking Nitin Ji that rules of our transport sector should be updated on daily basis. Today, what’s the system in our country, if we carry goods in a truck then all the goods are stored with the truck itself. Today’s changed times demand separation of truck and trolley as is the case with tractor that the trolley can be separated. The goods should be stored in the trolley, the trolley can be left in Jaipur and truck can go ahead, it can attach another trolley and go to a new destination. A system should be created so that the drivers can reach their homes in the night and can spend time with family and kids. We are working to transform our transport sector to create such a system. And if the country is to be transformed then it can be done at a very fast pace through the transport sector and we are moving in the direction to scale new heights of development through a comprehensive scheme.
I once again express my heartfelt gratitude for the love shown by you people, for your blessings and for the welcome and respect given by you people.
Thank you very much.