Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Har Har Mahadev!
I have got an opportunity to meet all of you face-to-face after a long time. Greetings to all the people of Kashi! I bow my head at the feet of Bholenath, who puts an end to the sorrows of all the people, and Mother Annapurna.
Smt. Anandiben Patel ji, Governor of UP, Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, the famous, energetic and hardworking Chief Minister of UP, Ministers of the UP government, MLAs and my brothers and sisters of Banaras,
Today, I have got the opportunity to lay the foundation stone and inaugurate development projects worth more than Rs 1500 crore in Kashi. Whatever is happening for the development of Banaras is due to the blessings of Mahadev and the efforts of the people of Banaras. Kashi has shown that she neither stops nor does she get tired even in difficult times.
Sisters and brothers,
The past few months have been very difficult for all of us, for the entire human race. The evolving and dangerous form of the coronavirus has attacked with full force. But UP, including Kashi, faced such a big crisis with full potential. The way UP, the country's largest state, whose population is more than dozens of big countries of the world,handled and prevented the spread of corona infection during the second wave is unprecedented.Otherwise, the people of UP have also experienced difficulties during diseases like encephalitis.
Earlier, even small crises in UP used to become horrible due to the lack of health facilities and will-power. And this is the biggest disaster, the biggest pandemic that has hit the entire world in 100 years. Therefore, the efforts of Uttar Pradesh in dealing with Corona are remarkable. I am especially grateful to my colleagues from Kashi, to the administration here and to the entire team of Corona warriors. The way you mobilized and created arrangements in Kashi is a great service.
I remember that when I used to call the people involved in the arrangements here even in the middle of the night; they were always found to be on guard. It was a difficult time, but you didn't give up in your efforts. It is the result of your actions that the situation in UP is getting better again.
Today UP is the state with the highest testing of Corona. Today, UP is the state with the highest number of vaccinations in the entire country. The government is providing free vaccines to the poor, middle class, farmers and youth under the Free-Vaccine campaign.
Sisters and brothers,
The infrastructure related to cleanliness and health being developed in UP is going to help a lot in the fight against Corona in future also. Today, UP is witnessing unprecedented improvement in medical infrastructure, be it village health centres, medical colleges or AIIMS. Till 4 years ago, where there used to be a dozen medical colleges in UP, their number has now increased almost 4 times. Many medical colleges are in different stages of construction. At present, the work of setting up about 550 oxygen plants in UP is also going on at a brisk pace. Today 14 oxygen plants were also inaugurated in Banaras itself. The initiative taken by the UP government to create facilities for oxygen production and ICU for children in every district is also commendable. Recently, the Central Government has announced a special package of Rs 23,000 crore for the development of new health facilities related to Corona. UP is also going to benefit a lot from this.
Today the city of Kashi is becoming a major medical hub of Purvanchal. The treatment for the diseases for which one had to go to Delhi and Mumbai is also available in Kashi today. Several new measures are being taken for the medical infrastructure today. Today Kashi is getting new hospitals especially for women and children. Out of these, 100-bed capacity is being added in BHU and 50 beds in district hospital. I had the privilege of laying the foundation stone of both these projects andtoday they are also being inaugurated. I am also going to visit the new facilities after a while which have been developed in BHU. Friends, today the Regional Eye Institute has also been inaugurated in BHU. People will be able to get modern treatment for eye-related diseases in this institute.
Brothers and sisters,
While retaining its original identity, Kashi has been on the rapid path of development in the last seven years. Unprecedented work has happened in the entire region whether it is the construction of national highways, flyovers or railway overbridges or underground wiring in old Kashi, or solving the problems of drinking water and sewer and to promote tourism. At present also, work is going on on projects worth about Rs 8,000 crore in this area. New projects and institutions are making the growth story of Kashi vivid.
Cleanliness and beautificationof Kashi and Mother Ganga is the aspiration and priority of all of us. For this, work is being done on every such front, be it roads, sewage treatment, beautification of parks and ghats. With the completion of the widening of Panchkoshi Marg, devotees will benefit and the life of dozens of villages falling on this route will also become easier. With the opening of the bridge on the Varanasi-Ghazipur route, apart from Varanasi, people traveling to and from Prayagraj, Ghazipur, Ballia, Gorakhpur and Bihar will also benefit. The people of Banaras are well aware that the construction of the multilevel two-wheeler parking in Gaudauliya will make their life easier. At the same time, the construction of parking and other public facilities at the under flyover from Lahartara to Chowka Ghat will be completed very soon. 'Har Ghar Jal Abhiyan' is also progressing fast so that no sister or family has to worry about pure water in Banaras and UP.
Better facilities, better connectivity, beautiful lanes and ghats are the new manifestations of the age-old Kashi. The work of installing advanced surveillance cameras at more than 700 places in the city is also in progress. Large LED screens being installed all over the city and technology-equipped information boards on the ghats will be of great help to the visitors to Kashi. These facilities, which present the history, architecture, craft, art and every such information of Kashi in an attractive way, will be of great help to the devotees. The telecast of the aarti at the Ghat of Gangaji and at Kashi Vishwanath Temple will be possible across the city through large screens.
Brothers and sisters,
The operation of Ro-Ro service and cruise boats starting from todaywill help flourish Kashi's tourism sector. Not only this, better facilities are also being provided to our sailors who are engaged in the service of Mother Ganga. Diesel boats are being converted to CNG boats. This will also cut down their cost, will help the environment and will also attract tourists. After this, I am going to hand over the International Convention Center in the form of Rudraksha to the people of Kashi. The litterateurs, musicians and artists from Kashi have made a splash at the world level,but there was no world class facility for the exhibition of their arts in Kashi itself. Today I am happy that the artists of Kashi are getting a modern platform to showcase their genre and art.
The richness of the ancient splendor of Kashi is also associated with the Ganges of knowledge. In such a scenario, continuous development of Kashi as a center of modern knowledge and science is also necessary. The efforts that were being made in this direction have got a boost after the formation of Yogi ji’s government. Today itself, Kashi has got model schools, ITIs, polytechnics, many such institutions and new facilities. Today the foundation stone of CIPET’s Center for Skilling & Technical Support has been laid.It will give a boost to industrial development not only in Kashi, but in the entire Purvanchal. Such institutions will further strengthen the role of Kashi in training skilled youth for the AatmaNirbhar Bharat. I especially congratulate the youth and students of Banarasfor the CIPET Centre.
Brothers and sisters,
Today, many top investors of the world are becoming part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat. In this too, Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the leading investment destination of the country. Today UP, which was considered a difficult place to do business till a few years ago, is becoming a favorite place for Make in India.
A big reason for this is the focus on infrastructure by Yogi ji's government in UP. Unprecedented improvement in road, rail and air connectivity has not only made life easier here, but is also making it easier for people to do business. The work of connecting every corner of UP with wide and modern roads likeexpressways is progressing very fast. Projects like the Defense Corridor, Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway or Ganga Expressway are going to give new heights to the development of Uttar Pradesh in this decade. Not only will vehicles run on them, but new industrial clusters will also be developed around them to give strength to AatmaNirbhar Bharat.
Brothers and sisters,
Our agricultural infrastructure and agro-based industries are also going to play a big role in AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Recently, the Central Government has made a major decision regarding the empowerment of agricultural infrastructure. The special fund of Rs 1 lakh crore that has been created for modern agricultural infrastructure in the country will now benefit our agricultural markets as well. This is a huge step towards making the agricultural markets of the country modern. It is the priority of the government to improve the procurement system and give more options to the farmers. It is the result of this that there has been a record government procurement of paddy and wheat this time.
The work regarding infrastructure related to agriculture is also going on in UP. Several modern facilities like the Perishable Cargo Center andthe International Rice Center are proving to be very beneficial for farmers of Varanasi and Purvanchal.Due to many such efforts, our ‘langda’ and ‘Dussehri’ mangoes are becoming popular in Europe and Gulf countries. The Mango and Vegetable Integrated Pack House, the foundation stone of which was laid today, will help in developing the region as an agro export hub. This will benefit small farmerswho grow fruits and vegetables the most.
I have been discussing so many developmental works of Kashi and the whole of UP for so long, but this list is so long that it will not end so soon. When I am short on time, I also have to think many times which development works of UP should I mention and leave others. All this is due to Yogi ji's leadership and the integrity of the UP government.
Brothers and sisters,
It is not that there were no schemes for UP or money was not sent (from Centre) before 2017! When we got the opportunity to serve in 2014, even then there used to be so much effort from Delhi. But there used to be roadblock in Lucknow. Today Yogi ji himself is working hard. The people of Kashi are aware how Yogi ji constantly comes here, reviews the development plans and speeds up projects. He makes the same efforts for the entire state. He goes to every district and gets involved with each and every project. This is the reason that these efforts are helping make a modern UP today.
There is a rule of law in UP now. The mafia raj and terrorism, which were once becoming uncontrollable, are now within the grip of law. The way parents always lived in fear regarding the safety of sisters and daughters, that situation has also changed. Today the criminals who cast their evil eyes on sisters and daughters know that they will not be able to escape from the law. Another important thing is that today the government in UP is running on the plank of development and there is no corruption and nepotism. That is why the people in UP are getting the benefits of the schemes. That is why today new industries are being set up in UP and employment opportunities are increasing.
Every citizen of UP has a contribution in this journey of development and progress, there is participation of people in it. Your contribution and blessings will take UP to new heights of development. You also have a huge responsibility that you do not have to let Corona dominate again.
The rate of corona infection has slowed down, but it can turn into a huge wave if carelessness increases. The experience of many countries of the world is in front of us today. Therefore, we have to follow all the rules and regulations strictly. We all have to join this campaign of free vaccination for all. Vaccination is a must. May the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and Mother Ganga be with all of us! With this wish, many thanks to all of you!
Har-Har Mahadev !!