Sahebganj (Jharkhand), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stones of a slew of projects, including a multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river here, and said the projects will put Jharkhand on the world trade map.
Besides the terminal, Modi laid the foundation stones of a four-lane bridge connecting Jharkhand’s Sahebganj with Manihari in Bihar’s Katihar district and a 311-km Govindpur-Jamtara-Dumka-Sahebganj highway in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi reiterated his commitment to continue the war on corruption and said the country was witnessing a “new age of honesty”.
“The four-lane bridge in not just the biggest bridge connecting two states; rather, it’s an avenue that will open up new opportunities for the state and take it towards development and progress,” he said.
The Prime Minister said all the projects will not just create employment for thousands of youths in the region but also help develop their skills.
He said corruption has been the bane of the country as people in power looted money.
“But we have waged this war against corruption and black money. And unless and until they return the looted money, I will not sit quiet,” he said adding that the youth of the country were determined to lead an honest life.
“The age of honesty has dawned in the country where people want to work hard and work with honesty,” said Modi.
Hailing Union Minister for Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari for his endeavour to develop inland waterways, Modi said once the Sahebganj multi-modal terminal becomes operational, it will help landlocked Jharkhand put itself on the world trade map.
“The multi-modal terminal will change Jharkhand’s fortunes. The state’s produce — be it coal, minerals or agricultural goods — all will reach foreign shores through this terminal. The terminal and the bridge will not just improve Jharkhand’s connectivity with Bihar and other eastern states, but also open up opportunities of trade with the rest of the world,” he said.
The multi-modal terminal is an important part of development of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal.
NW-1 is being developed under the Jal Marg Vikas Project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore. The project will enable navigation of commercial vessels with capacities of 1,500-2,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage).
The Sahebganj terminal is the second of the three multi-modal terminals to be constructed on NW-1, with the first in Varanasi and the third terminal in Haldia.
The state-of-the-art terminal at Sahebganj will have a cargo handling capacity of 2.24 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) on completion in 2019.
The terminal facilities will include berthing space for two vessels, stockyard, conveyor belt system with hoppers, barge loaders, shore protection works, roads, ramps, parking area, and terminal buildings.
A roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) terminal at Sahebganj will provide critical connectivity with Bihar at Manihari.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister also handed out smartphones to women self-help groups, a project of the Jharkhand government under which one lakh smartphones will be distributed to give impetus to Digital India and ‘less cash’ initiatives.
He also inaugurated two solar power units and stressed the importance of renewable energy.
“India is making rapid progress in renewable energy, particularly solar energy. Solar energy is not just clean and green it is also cheap,” he said.
He said his government has given away 50,000 LED bulbs across the country that helped save electricity worth Rs 11,000 crore.
Modi lauded Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das for his government’s move to give impetus to dairy farming and animal husbandry.