Udaipur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India could no longer afford to delay modernisation of its infrastructure if the country was to scale new heights.
Infrastructure played a huge role in the nation's development but earlier governments and policy-makers often avoided such time-consuming projects involving large investments "as people often lose patience", Modi said at a public meeting here. "But, we know that if we have to take the nation to new heights, there is a pressing need to modernise our infrastructure," Modi said. "Be it rail, road, water or power supply, optical fibre network, waterways, or coastal connectivity, India will not benefit from any further delay in setting up this modern infrastructure," he added. The Prime Minister said that once everything was in place, it would bring many positive changes in people's lives. "For example, road projects entailing expenditure of Rs 9,000-crore being launched in Rajasthan will benefit farmers in taking their produce to markets of their choice. It will also enable a sick mother to get good healthcare, which may not be available in her village," Modi said. Giving example of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee's Golden Quadrilateral project, Modi said it enabled farmers of Gujarat to take their produce to markets in Delhi within a day, which substantially increased their incomes. He said road infrastructure was especially beneficial for Rajasthan, a big state with huge potential for tourism. Modi said while the government was laying foundation stones for projects entailing expenditure of around Rs 9,500 crore, these would be completed in a time-bound manner just like the projects with expenditure of around Rs 5,600 crore were inaugurated on Tuesday. He said it took 11 years for a six-lane bridge over Chambal river, costing Rs 300 crore, to be completed. "Compare it with projects, costing Rs 5,600 crore, which have been completed since 2014 and are being inaugurated now," Modi said. "We are committed to completing projects in a time-bound manner. We are trying to bring in a culture that we finish the works we start," he said. Modi said stuck or slow-paced projects harmed the economy as the cost spiralled manifold over the years. He said it took a lot of resources and efforts to revive a stuck project.