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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Amid tight security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Odisha to launch several projects including the inauguration of the much-awaited Jharsuguda Airport. He was welcomed by Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram, State Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera, Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Jena and other leaders after he reached at the Bhubaneswar Airport at around 9 am.

Upon his arrival in Talcher, Modi interacted with Asha workers and later unveiled the plaque to mark the commencement of work for the revival of Talcher fertilizer plant.

"I am happy to be in Talcher. I am happy we are taking an important step of beginning work in a fertiliser plant here. We are fulfilling dreams that should have been fulfilled long ago. Our aim is to take India to new heights of growth. Projects like the fertiliser plant here are central to India's growth story. This plant will use latest technology as well," said Modi.

"People of Odisha had lost hope of the fertiliser plant being revived but we did it despite several hurdles. The plant will help create a huge employment opportunity in the region. The fertiliser plant will start production in 36 months and I will come again after three years for inauguration," he added during the ceremony.

CM Naveen, who received PM Modi in Talcher, thanked him for the Talcher fertiliser plant stating that it was a long-standing demand of the State.

This is the first plant in India to have a coal gasification based fertilizer unit. In addition to fertilizer, the plant will produce natural gas, which will contribute to the country's energy requirements.

Later, the PM addressed a public meeting at Talcher in chaste Odia "Jai Jagannath... Jai Maa Hingula... Kala heera ra mati Talcher ku mora koti koti pranam... mu etha ku asiki garbanwita mane karuchi..."

During the rally, Modi said, "When BJP govt came to power in the centre, the work on fertiliser plants picked up speed. I ensure you that the construction of Talcher Fertiliser Plant will be completed in 36 months & I'll again come here to inaugurate it."

Targeting the Odisha government, Modi that the State Government is able to implement Rs 1 rice scheme in the State only because the Centre contributes Rs 450 crore per month.

He added, "I had urged CM Naveen Babu that Odisha will be left behind in cleanliness. But today, when I have come here, I again urge Naveen Babu to give priority to cleanliness in Odisha for the health of the people here."

Mentioning about the benefits of Centre's Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Modi stated "As many as 50 crore people will benefit from Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat scheme which will be launched tomorrow from Jharkhand. If Odisha government doesn't cooperate, I will not be able to serve you."

On Triple Talaq, Modi said, "The central govt took a decision on Triple Talaq that was needed since decades. No one was ready to even talk about it due to the fear of losing votes. Now, it has been declared illegal."

The Prime Minister also launched a slew of projects including the Garjanbahal coal mines and the Jharsuguda-Barapali-Sardega rail link that will be dedicated to the nation.

He also unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of coal production and transportation from Dulanga coal mines.

As per the schedule, Modi then travelled to Jharsuguda and inaugurated the second commercial airport of Odisha, in presence of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Governor Ganeshi Lal & Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram & Suresh Prabhu. The new Airport will bring western Odisha on the aviation map of India, and facilitate regional air connectivity through the UDAN scheme, PMO stated.

During his address at Jharsuguda, CM Naveen said, "I had requested PM Modi to name the Jharsuguda Airport after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai whose contribution is immeasurable. My government has sanctioned 120 acre land for the airport free of cost and also Rs 75 crore from the State fund."

On the other hand, PM Modi stated that India's aviation sector is being transformed rapidly which augurs well for 125 crore Indians. He went on to say, "This airport in Jharsuguda is well located to serve the needs of the people of Odisha. This is going to be the second airport in the state. While being happy this airport is opening, we also need to wonder why it took so many years for a second airport in Odisha. Connectivity is at the core of all round development. Our Government has devoted significant efforts to enhance connectivity all over the nation."

Later during a public gathering at Jharsuguda, Modi attacked the State govt and said, "PC culture is prevalent in Odisha... 'Isi PC ke wajah se log peeste jarahe hain', be it Sapling Scam, Cooperative Scam, Sattu Scam, road construction or irrigation, corruption has percolated everywhere."

Further lambasting the Odisha Government, he said, "Corruption and delay in decision-making have become the identity of Odisha government which is creating a barrier for development. Healthcare, infant and maternal mortality, malnutrition haunts people of Odisha. We from the Centre have to wake up the State govt to act."

The Veer Surendra Sai Airport was all decked up before the inauguration.

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