DEHRADUN: PM Narendra Modi while addressing a public gathering on Thursday of nearly 60,000 people in the Himalayan town of Pithoragarh, which has borders with China and Nepal, said that “unlike previous governments, development of border areas was on his priority list.” “In the past nine years, we’ve constructed 4,200-km roads along the borders, made 250 new bridges and 22 tunnels; soon trains will be reaching the border areas,” he said.

PM Modi Pithoragarh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Reaches ancient Adi Kailash Temple in Uttarakhand

The PM added: “You must be wondering what wrong you have done that villages are getting deserted. You have not done wrong but are suffering due to the wrong policies and decisions of previous governments. They had a strange logic that if they develop border areas, our enemies may penetrate inside the country using these routes. Governments earlier called such areas the last village, we call them the first village. With the change in vision, we are confident of reverse migration. New India neither fears anything, nor does it induce fear in others.”
Interestingly, Modi dropped his usual “bhaiyon aur behno” (brothers and sisters) phrase to use “parijan” (family members) while addressing the gathering.
Referring to the recent G20 summit in Delhi, the PM said, “Even in the tough and challenging times across the globe, the voice of Bharat is getting stronger. Recently, we hosted G20 and the world praised us and our efforts. The change in the country’s image has been possible because of you, not me. This is your strength that when I shake hands with big leaders, I look them in the eye and when they look at me, they are not looking at me but at 140 crore Indians.”

He added that “the country is heading towards new heights of development”. “India is being appreciated on the global stage. There was a time when there was a feeling of depression in the entire country and we visited temples and prayed that the country would soon come out of the situation. People wanted freedom from scams worth crores and voted us to power with full majority. Now, the world is appreciating us,” he said.
The PM claimed that “over 13.5 crore Indians have come out of poverty in the last five years.” “This includes people who live in hilly and remote regions. The government’s all-inclusive approach helped people living in far-flung areas. The world is amazed. These 13.5 crore people are an example that India can uproot the nation’s poverty on its own,” he said. He further said, “Large-scale investment is being done in education, mobile towers, electricity poles, health system and water supply in these pockets.”

The PM also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for projects in Uttarakhand worth about Rs 4,200 crore.
Among the major projects for which foundation stones were laid included construction of 21,398 polyhouses, hospitals and development of Manaskhand project (to link prominent temples of Kumaon). Modi also inaugurated 76 roads, 25 bridges in rural areas and 15 block buildings.
On the issue of natural calamity, Modi said that “in the next five years, we will be spending nearly Rs 4,000 crore on projects. “The required infrastructure and facilities would come up in Uttarakhand so that in case of a natural disaster, relief and rescue work can be started.”

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