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Tamil Language Eternal, Culture Global, Says Modi in Chennai, Launches 11 Projects in Big Infra Push

PM Narendra Modi greets Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin during the ceremony for the laying of foundation stones of multiple developmental projects at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on May 26. (Image: PTI)

PM Narendra Modi greets Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin during the ceremony for the laying of foundation stones of multiple developmental projects at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on May 26. (Image: PTI)

This is PM Modi's first official visit to Tamil Nadu after MK Stalin-led DMK came to power in the 2021 assembly elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening arrived in Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai and launched several welfare and developmental projects worth over Rs 31,400 crores, including the Bangalore-Chennai Expressway. On his way to the Nehru Indoor Stadium, PM Modi held a massive roadshow wherein he waved to people standing in large numbers on both sides of the roads.

People thronged to greet the Prime Minister along the route of the roadshow and welcomed him with garlands and flower petals. Waving party flags and holding ‘Vanakkam Modi Ji’ placards and banners praising him, BJP workers welcomed him and Modi raised his hands from inside his car, accepting their greetings. They also hosted traditional cultural events. Some cadres also raised the slogan ‘Thalaiva’ which could be roughly translated as ‘leader’.

This is PM Modi’s first official visit to Tamil Nadu after MK Stalin-led DMK came to power in the 2021 assembly elections.

Speaking about the projects at the launch event, PM Modi said, “We have gathered here to celebrate yet another glorious sector of Tamil Nadu development journey, projects worth over Rs 31,000 crores are either inaugurated or foundation stones are laid. The focus on road construction is clearly visible.”

PM dedicated to the nation various railway projects, including the 75 km long Madurai-Theni Railway Gauge Conversion Project, in southern part of the state. Built at a cost of over Rs 500 crore, it will facilitate access and give a fillip to tourism in the region.

The PM also dedicated a 30 km long third railway line between Tambaram and Chengalpattu in Chennai, built at a cost of about Rs 590 crore, to facilitate the operation of more suburban services. The event also saw the Prime Minister lay the foundation stone for the redevelopment of five railway stations in Tamil Nadu–namely Chennai Egmore, Rameswaram, Madurai, Katpadi, and Kanniyakumari. This project would be completed at a cost of over Rs 1,800 crore and is being undertaken with a view to enhancing the convenience and comfort of passengers by providing modern amenities.

“I am particularly happy that five railway stations are being redeveloped. This modernization and development is being done keeping in mind the needs of the future. At the same time, it will merge with local art and culture,” PM Modi said.

Amid a debate over Hindi and linguistic diversity in the country, PM Modi said, “The Tamil language is eternal and the Tamil culture is global. From Chennai to Canada, from Madurai to Malaysia, from Namakkal to New York and from Salem to South Africa, the occasions of Pongal and Puthandu are marked with great fervour.”

This comes after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin said Tamil should be announced as the official language at Union government offices and the Madras High Court. “This is the first government event that PM Modi is participating in Tamil Nadu after DMK government took charge. I express my welcome and gratitude to the Prime Minister,” Stalin said during his speech while welcoming PM Modi for the event.

Stalin further said, “Honourable PM, Tamil Nadu is a leading state in terms of economic growth, rural health facilities, educational institutions. Our state is a pioneer not only in economic and other related factors but also in social justice, equality and women’s employment.”

Stating that Tamil Nadu is a state for “inclusive growth”, Stalin said, This is what we call Dravidian model. In this Dravidian model of governance, while taking various welfare and developmental measures, I wish to inform you that we have corrected fiscal imbalance and restructured finances of the state.”

Modi also inaugurated 1,152 houses constructed as part of the ‘Light House Project — Chennai’ built at a cost of Rs 116 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban. This project makes use of the precast concrete construction system as used in the US and Finland, officials had said, adding that it uses the best of new-age global technologies, materials, and processes in the construction sector for the first time in the country at such a large scale.

Speaking on this, PM Modi said, “I would like to congratulate all those who will be getting houses as a part of the historic Chennai Light House project under the PM-Awas Yojana. This has been a very satisfying project for us.”

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Light House Projects at six sites across the country on January 1, 2021. He has been regularly reviewing the status of the project, including through drone-based monitoring, the officials had said.

(with inputs from PTI)

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first published:May 26, 2022, 18:30 IST