Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Tuesday inaugurated India’s longest road-cum-rail bridge — Bogibeel bridge — in Upper Assam Dibrugarh district, said four years back nobody had thought that the main person behind the helicopter deal will be brought to India and put behind bars. The PM, however, didn’t name the Agusta Westland ‘middleman’ Christian Michel.
Asserting that his government does not work for friends and relatives, Modi said, “Corruption burdens the middle class and deprives poor of their rights. Our government has launched a fight against black money and corruption, and benami properties worth Rs 5,000 crore are confiscated.”
He went on to explain that around 3.25 fake companies which were involved in corruption have been identified and closed. “Around Rs 3 lakh crore money from banks has been recovered which were hanging due to the earlier government.”
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) December 25, 2018
Stressing that the NDA government had been involved with reforms for the past four and half years, he talked about how projects worth Rs 12 lakh crore were either incomplete or had been facing delays.
“Our government has decided to finish these projects with a definite timeline,” he said.
“In four and half years, Bogibeel bridge is the third bridge that has been constructed over Brahmaputra, while in 70 years of Independence, only three bridges have come up over the river. The process of five more bridges has been initiated. Bogibeel is a tribute to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” Modi said, adding that this will change the face of Northeast India.
“This 4.94-km long bridge will boost the defence sector in India, and help the economy of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
“We have changed the earlier ‘latkaane-bhatkaane’ (dilly-dallying) work culture… Completion of projects within a time frame is no longer confined to paper but has become a truth in the real sense,” he said in a apparent dig at the previous Congress-led UPA government.
“Early flood in the river Brahmaputra restricted the working season to a very short period of approximately five months – from November to March – and demanded huge mobilization of construction equipment,” Chief Engineer Mohinder Singh told news agency PTI, explaining the delay in the project.
Bogibeel Bridge in Assam, which happens to be Asia’s second longest railroad connector, has a lifespan of around 120 years. The 4.9 km-long bridge was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,900 crore – exceeding its initial budget of about Rs 3,200 crore and originally planned length of 4.31 km.