PM lauds states for cooperation, united efforts and collaboration
CMs thank PM for lending all possible help
The trend of increase in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala is a cause of concern: PM
Test Track, Treat and Teeka is tested and proven strategy: PM
We have to take proactive measures to prevent the possibility of the third wave:PM
Fill the infrastructural gaps, especially in the rural areas: PM
Corona is not over, pictures of post unlocking behaviour worrisome: PM


You all made your point on many important issues in the country's fight against Corona. Just two days ago, I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with all the respected Chief Ministers of the North East too. I am talking specifically to those stateswhere the situation is worrisome.


In the last one-and-a-half years, the country has fought such a massive pandemic only with mutual cooperation and united efforts. The way all the state governments have tried to learn from each other, understand the best practices,and cooperate with each other is commendable and we can say from experience that we can achieve victory in this fight only with such efforts.


You are all aware that we are at a juncture where the fear of a third wave is being expressed regularly. The way the number of cases had come down in most of the states of the country provided some psychological relief. In view of this downward trend, experts were also expecting that the country would be completely out of the second wave soon. But the increasing number of cases in some states still remains worrying.


Six states are with us today for this discussion.About 80 percent of the new cases have come from your states in the last week. Eighty-four percent of tragic deaths have also occurred in these states. Initially, experts were assuming that where the second wave originated, the situation would be under control much earlier than other states.But cases are rising continuouslyin Maharashtra and Kerala. This is indeed a matter of serious concern for all of us and for the country. You all are aware that similar trends were seen in January-February before the second wave as well. Therefore, the apprehension naturally increases that the situation may become difficult if it is not brought under control soon. It is very important that the states where cases are increasing will have to take proactive measures to prevent any possibility of the third wave.


Experts say the possibility of mutation in the coronavirus and the risk of new variants increase if cases continue to rise for a longer time. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to take effective steps against Corona to prevent the third wave. The strategy in this direction is the same, which you have adopted in your states, and the entire country has implemented it. And we also have an experience of it. It is also a tested and proven method for you. We have to move forward by focusing our strategy on test, track and treat along with vaccines. We have to pay special attention to micro-containment zones. There should be more focus on the districts where the positivity rate is high and from where the increasing numbers of cases are being reported. When I was talking to my colleagues in the North East, one thing emerged that some states did not impose lockdown and instead they put a lot of emphasis on the micro containment zones and because of this they could control the situation. Testing should be increased as much as possible in the entire state with special attention on such districts. In the districts where there is more infection, the vaccine is also a strategic tool for us. The difficulties arising out of corona can be dealt with the effective use of vaccines. Many states are also using this window (of opportunity) this time to increase their RT-PCR testing capacity. This is also a commendable and necessary step. The increase in RT-PCR testing can be very effective in stopping the virus.


Funds are being made available to all the states of the country for creating new ICU beds, increasing the testing capacity and for all other requirements. Recently, the Central Government has also released an emergency Covid response package of more than 23,000 crores rupees. I would like this budget to be utilized for further strengthening the health infrastructure,bridging whatever 'infrastructural gaps' are in the states expeditiously andespecially in rural areas where we need to pay more attention. Similarly, it is equally important to strengthen the network of IT systems, control rooms and call centers in all the states, because then the data of resources and its information is available to the citizens in a transparent manner. Patients and relatives do not have to run helter-skelter for treatment.


I am told that out of the 332 PSA plants that have been allocated in your states, 53 have been commissioned. I request all the states to set up these PSA oxygen plants at the earliest. Employ a senior officer for this work specially, and get this work done in a mission mode within 15-20 days.


There is another concern about children as well. We have to make full preparations from our side to protect the children from corona infection.


We are witnessing a rapid increase in cases in many European countries in the last two weeks. Cases are also increasing very fast if we look in the west, whether it is countries of Europe or America, or in the east incountries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand. In fact, somewhere there has been an increase of four times, somewhere eight times and somewhere ten times. This is a warning to the entire world and to us as well. We have to remind people repeatedly that Corona has not disappeared from among us. The pictures that are emerging from most of the places after unlocking add to this concern even more. I shared my concern with all the friends of the North East regarding this. Today also, I want to re-emphasize that point again. The states which have joined us today, there are many big metropolitan cities and they are very densely populated. We have to keep this in mind as well. We have to be alert and strict to prevent crowding in public places.

We need to create awareness among people continuously by taking the help of other political parties, social organizations, NGOs and civil society. I am sure that your extensive experience will be of great use in this direction. Thank you very much for taking out time for this important meeting! As mentioned by all the respected Chief Ministers, I am available every moment and in touch with all. I will always be available in future also,so that we can save our respective states in this campaign together and to save mankind from this crisis. I wish you all the very best. Thanks a lot!

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Cabinet approves development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi
June 19, 2024

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the proposal of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi including Construction of New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track & Allied works.

The estimated financial outgo will be Rs. 2869.65 Crore for enhancing the passenger handling capacity of the airport to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 3.9 MPPA. The New Terminal Building, which encompasses an area of 75,000 sqm is designed for a capacity of 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP). It is designed to offer a glimpse of the vast cultural heritage of the city.

The proposal includes extending the runway to dimensions 4075m x 45m and constructing a new Apron to park 20 aircraft. Varanasi airport will be developed as a green airport with the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability through energy optimization, waste recycling, carbon footprint reduction, solar energy utilization, and incorporation of natural daylighting, alongside other sustainable measures throughout the planning, development, and operational stages.