Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said mere development of roads, railways, ports and airports is not enough for progress in the 21st century. These modes of transport must complement each other for seamless multi-modal connectivity, he added.
Speaking at the inauguration of infrastructure projects worth Rs 27,000 crore in Bengaluru, Modi said that last-mile connectivity is an important aspect–both for ease of living and ease of doing business. In this regard, the road and railways projects will prove to be of great benefit. “These infrastructure projects will provide many opportunities for the youth and farmers of Karnataka,” Modi said.
The prime minister inaugurated Bengaluru’s Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP), built at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore. It will help in lowering the transportation, handling and secondary freight costs, a government statement said.
The MMLP will have warehousing and storage facilities for commodities such as rice, automobiles, spice, electrical goods, cement, and apparel.
“The park will be connected by road, railways, airport, and port services so that last-mile delivery is enhanced and the cost of transportation is lowered as well,” Modi said.
In the first phase of the Bharatmala project, the Centre plans to build 35 MMLPs over the next few years to provide faster and cheaper logistics opportunities, for which real-estate consultancy CBRE was appointed as the advisor recently.
The four-laning of parts of two national highways is expected to boost connectivity to major ports in Chennai, Mangalore, and Krishnapatnam, while three other highway projects will aid passenger and commercial movement in Bengaluru, a government statement said.
The six-laning of Tumkur section of the Mumbai-Pune-Chennai corridor is expected to reduce congestion and make industrial clusters more accessible as well.
Addressing the issue of congestion on roads and within modes of transport, the prime minister said that an important step towards solving that problem is improving Beangaluru’s connectivity to the neighbouring suburban areas. To that end, two doubling projects of the Indian Railways, completed at a cost of Rs 1850 crore, were flagged off on Monday.
“When suburban areas and rural areas get connected through rail-based rapid transit systems, it will have a multiplier effect…There will be an industrial boost and economic activity will be strengthened,” Modi said, adding that the projects will provide new opportunities for tourism in Karnataka.
The prime minister hailed India’s start-up ecosystem after it saw 100 unicorns, saying that their combined worth is almost Rs 12 trillion. The government wants to level the playing field so that start-ups and PSUs compete with each other and become globally competitive.
“The 21st century India is for wealth creators, job creators, and innovators. This is our true strength as the country with the highest number of youths,” Modi said.
The prime minister likened the start-up sector’s drive for innovation to the Centre’s own slew of reforms, saying that the path to set the course for these innovations was not convenient, or easy.
“Many reforms can seem unpleasant at first, but with time, the country today experiences the benefits of those reforms… We have opened up sectors like space and defence to the youth of this country, where governments, for decades, had a dominion.”
Read More: 21st century India is for wealth creators, says PM Narendra Modi