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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
16-December-2018 20:38 IST
English rendering of PM’s address at the inauguration of various development projects at Prayagraj, UP

On stage, Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shri Ram Naik ji, the popular Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath ji, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya ji, member of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and my colleague in Parliament Shri shyamacharan Gupta ji, Vinod Kumar Sonakar ji and Virendra ji, Mayor of Prayagraj Abhilasha Gupta Ji, and my brothers and sisters who have gathered here in large numbers.

I bow to the people of Prayag, which is the land of penance, culture and values. Whenever one gets the opportunity to visit Prayagraj, the mind gets filled with an altogether different energy. Every bit of this place reflects the divinity of saints and sages which has been felt by the tourists since time immemorial.

It has been said about Prayag- को कहि सकहि प्रयाग प्रभाऊ। कलुष पुंज कुंजर मृगराऊ।।

It means that it is difficult to describe the impact and the greatness of Prayag that has been compared to a lion, in order to kill the elephant of sins. This is a holy pilgrimage centre that had provided eternal bliss even to Lord Rama, who Himself is an ocean of happiness.

Brothers and sisters,

As I have come here before the Ardha-Kumbh, I would like to give you good news. This time all the devotees will be able to see the Akshayavat in Ardha-Kumbh. For several generations, Akshayavat was locked inside the fort but now every devotee who comes here will get the opportunity to see Akshayavat after bathing in Triveni of Prayagraj.

Moreover, now people can see Saraswati Kumbh along with Akshayavat. Just sometime back I had gone to see the Akshayavat. This tree inspires us to adopt a lively attitude towards life by blossoming again and again due to its deep roots.

 

Friends,

Just moments ago, several projects worth approximately Rs.4500 crores were launched and foundation stone laid for making such a divine and vibrant Prayagraj even more attractive and modern. It includes various projects like that of roads, railways, smart city and cleanliness of mother Ganga.

I congratulate the people of Prayagraj for all the facilities that have been created for making their lives easier. These projects will benefit not only Kumbh but also the Kalpvasis.

Friends,

The BJP government has focused on aspects ranging from connectivity to infrastructure during Kumbh. We are making efforts to strengthen and improve all the roads connecting Prayagraj, whether it is a rail road, or for airport connectivity or merely upgrading the roads. The Ministry of Railways is going to start many new trains this time particularly for Kumbh. All the projects that I have launched like the big flyovers, railway over-bridge and underpasses, and of electricity and drinking water will improve both the infrastructure and connectivity of this area.

After this event, I will be going for the inauguration of the new terminal of your Prayagraj airport. This new terminal has been completed in a record time of one year. This terminal will be highly beneficial to the passengers and at the same time will improve connectivity of Prayagraj with the other cities. I congratulate the people of Prayagraj in advance for this.

Friends,

Although these facilities are coming up right before Ardha-Kumbh, the impact will not remain limited to this. In the future, there will be positive impacts at every stage of life of the people of Prayagraj. One specialty is that unlike before, this time all the facilities are permanent. It's not a temporary work. The Integrated Command Control Centre set up with more than Rs.100 crores is a symbol of a blend between Prayagraj's antiquity and modernity. It is an important centre of smart Prayagraj. Everything from roads, electricity to water supply is going to be operated from this center.

Brothers and sisters,

The government is trying to get the people around the world to experience every aspect from spirituality to technology in Kumbh. They should be able to experience both spirituality and technology.

All efforts are being made to ensure that people visiting this place can go back with the feeling that the confluence of spirituality, faith and modernity can be so grand and unmatched!

The selfie-point being created here is also a spot of attraction. Just a short while ago, I clicked selfies with special guests at Divya Kumbh, Bhavya Kumbh selfie point.

Friends,

The merger of Ardha-Kumbh and selfie will remain incomplete unless the confluence, Triveni, becomes magnificent. Mother Ganga is a great source of power. Mother Ganga must be clean, clear and its flow uninterrupted. The government is working at a rapid pace to achieve the same.

Out of all the projects worth thousands of crores rupees that have been launched today, there is one project pertaining to the cleanliness of mother Ganga and beautification of its ghats. The sewage treatment plant built at a cost of Rs.1700 crores will prevent about a dozen of drains of the city from flowing directly into Gangaji. At the same time, around 150 ghats are being beautified in Namami Gange project. Out of these, about 50 ghats have been completed. 6 of those ghats have been inaugurated today.

Brothers and sisters,

Similar facilities are being created in every state situated at the banks of river Ganga including Prayagraj, Kashi, Kanpur and other cities of UP. So far, projects worth more than Rs. 24500 crores have been approved under the Namami Gange Mission. 75 projects worth Rs. 5 thousand crore have been completed. The work on 150 projects worth thousands of crores of rupees is going on at a rapid pace.

Friends,

Apart from the role of the government in ensuring clean and uninterrupted flow of mother Ganga, the role of crores of Swachhagrahis and the servants of mother Ganga is pivotal. The masses have been associated with this campaign and are working at personal level. Public participation and responsibilities towards Gangaji have given an impetus to our efforts. Now almost all the villages on the banks of river Ganga have been declared as Open Defection Free.

Brothers and sisters,

Cleanliness has been linked to godliness in our shastras. Gods reside during Kumbh. This time no stone will be left unturned in making arrangements for Kumbh, be it through the cleaning up of mother Ganga or through having a clean Kumbh.

Before coming here, I attended an exhibition on 'Swachh Kumbh' or 'clean Kumbh'. We have also started the schemes of using equipment such as portable compactor and other modern techniques to ensure cleanliness during Kumbh.

Friends,

The central government along with the government of Uttar Pradesh is trying to ensure that the arrangements are spectacular, magnificent and divine. The government is making all the effort to show a glimpse of India's glorious past and a marvelous future to the world.

I am glad that every resident of Prayagraj is associated with the efforts of the government. You all too are making efforts at your personal level. You all have been working to create a positive environment in terms of cleanliness of the city and for hospitality. In the exhibition I saw that attractive paintings were being used to decorate the city. This wonderful attempt to showcase Prayagraj and India through paintings is commendable and this experience will be unique to every traveler coming here.

Friends,

Grasping these emotions of the people of Prayagraj and considering your love, I have invited the people from around the world to come and attend Ardha-Kumbh. In the last 1-1.5 year, whichever place I had visited, I have made invitations to the Indians living there to come along with their foreign friends to Prayagraj and to connect with the cultural heritage because now even I belong to Uttar Pradesh.

You must have seen that yesterday the flags of 70 countries were flown in Sangam. The representatives and the diplomats from 70 countries appointed in India surveyed the entire Kumbh area and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere.

Such efforts will aid in enhancing the popularity of Kumbh internationally.

Friends,

This time two important events will take place simultaneously in the world's two most ancient cultural towns: Prayagraj and Kashi. When people from around the world will gather here for Ardha-Kumbh, the Indians from across the globe will gather in Kashi for Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. It is quite obvious that they will plan to visit this place as well.

 

Brothers and sisters,

Ardha-Kumbh is not only a festival where crores of people gather but also provides a direction to our country by aiding in developing contact and conversations among those people. With crores of people visiting Kumbh, the flow of crores of ideas also makes India more prosperous and empowered.

The festival of Kumbh is the greatest evidence of India and Indian-ness. This festival inspires us to be one by forgetting the differences in language and rituals. This festival unites us and also the villages and the cities. One can see the actual picture of 'Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat' here. In such a scenario, it's our responsibility to take special care of our guests coming here. This event is not just for devotion but also is a question of India's prestige. We need to ensure that the people take away a new image of India along with them.

During this period, thousands of students will come to learn about the management here. The world's largest Management University has been teaching the students the tricks on management on the vastness, diversity and success of this event.

Friends,

India is known for its cultural heritage and its storehouse of knowledge. Several saints including Swami Vivekananda had dedicated their lives to introduce the world to this power. For the last four to four and a half years, the central government has been striving relentlessly to enhance the impact of cultural and spiritual heritage of the country along with its resources.

Friends,

Today on this holy land of Prayagraj, I wish to talk to you all about another significant topic. Prayagraj is that place in Uttar Pradesh which can also be called as the temple of justice. The way pressure has been created on the judiciary for quiet sometime now, in such a scenario, it is pertinent to make the people of India and the country's youth cautious about it.

Friends,

The party with the longest ruling period always considered itself greater than every law, judiciary, institution and even the country. This party had destroyed every institution, even the constitutional bodies that didn't work according to its rules and directions.

Brothers and sisters,

With this arbitrariness, attempts were made to weaken our country's judicial system. There was just one reason that the judiciary was among those institutions that stood against this party's corrupt and authoritarian methods. Who knows it better than the people of Prayagraj and UP as to why the Congress dislikes the judiciary? The people of UP must recall those days when the top leaders of this party tried to disparage public opinion. Wasn't that a disregard of democracy?

Friends,

The nation can never forget that day when the Prayagraj High Court, upholding truth and standing by the Constitution, had ousted them from the position in Parliament; they tried to end democracy itself. They declared emergency on the nation. In fact, they modified the Constitution of the country as well. Attempts were also made to snatch away the rights of the judiciary to hear election petitions.

Friends,

This has been the trend of Congress leaders. As per this trend, the constitutional bodies of the country had their hands tied up before that party. They attempted to destroy anyone who didn't oblige. It was their feudal and monarchical mentality that kept them motivated to ruin the neutral institutions. In order to uproot the dignity of the judiciary, this party not only used muscle power but also deceit. In order to make their ploy successful, they crossed all the limits of deception, exploitation and slyness. The work culture of this party in terms of judiciary has been – while in power, they used to keep things in limbo and while in opposition, they tried to bully.

Friends,

I wish to remind the country of the crucial Keshavanand Bharti case. When the Judges who were to deliver the judgments had refused to budge under pressure, then they overturned the age-old judicial tradition/convention.

Instead of appointing the senior-most Judge as the Chief Justice, they chose a Judge who was third in the order of seniority. This was their work culture. That was how they created pressure on the Judiciary. When Justice Khanna disapproved of their decision to declare emergency, a similar thing was done to him. His seniority was neglected.

Brothers and sisters,

They care neither for the welfare of the country nor for the democracy just because of their self-interests. They do not have any regard either for the law or for the traditions. One statement delivered by one of their leaders had made news headlines. He had said - we will allow only that person to be the Chief Justice who agrees with our ideology, our views and works according to our directions.

Friends,

The judiciary in our country works by holding the Constitution of our country paramount.

But the country has also been a witness to the process how political party uses greed, hate, power, and everything to bend the Judiciary to its will. This party has several ways of blocking, misleading and bullying the Judiciary.

Recently, we have seen how they tried to bring an impeachment motion against the highest court of the Judiciary. Trying to scare and threaten the Judges is a part of their earlier mindset.

I still remember the statement that was in news. During the trial of one of their leaders, the Judge was asked whether he didn't want his wife to celebrate Karwa Chauth. Wasn't that a threat?

Brothers and sisters,

These people are now crying for democracy after ruining every institution. But their behaviour and conspiracies are time and again proving the fact that they consider themselves higher than the country, democracy, judiciary and even the people. Just two days ago we have seen another such example. Therefore, I want you all to be careful and cautious of these people and parties.

Brothers and sisters,

The present of the Congress is as tarnished as its past. Immersed in their desire for power and self-interests, these people care neither for the countrymen nor the country nor not even for its economic and cultural progress. They think about the country's culture only on special occasions while for us the nation, its prosperity, glory and the spiritual growth are part of our thinking.

In line with the same values, under the Prasad Yojana, several places including UP, associated with devotion and spirituality are being added in the entire country. Facilitate being developed in those places. Many such centers of religious significance like Prayagraj, Kashi, Ayodhya-Vrindavan, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Sabarimala etc.are being turned into something spectacular and magnificent.

Brothers and sisters,

You will get a glimpse of how India is changing and how the New India is blending antiquity with modernity in Ardha-Kumbh.

I urge the people of Prayag to make Kumbh a successful event by merging modernity with spirituality, development with faith and comfort with trust.

The government is fulfilling its responsibility but such a grand event cannot be successful with the government's efforts alone. I, Yogi ji, and all our colleagues will make the Ardha-Kumbh a success this time by working hand-in-hand with you.

With this expectation, once again, I would like to congratulate you all and Prayagraj for the various development projects.

Jai Ganga Maiya - Jai!

Jai Yamuna Maiya - Jai!

Jai Saraswati Maiya - Jai!

Jai Tirtharaj - Jai Tirtharaj!

Jai Tirtharaj - Jai Tirtharaj!

Long live Mother India!

Long live Mother India!

Long live Mother India!

 

Thanks a lot!

***

 

AKT/SH/IG/MG/AK