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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Maitri Setu’ between India and Bangladesh on March 9, 2021, through video conference. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura. The Governor and Chief Minister of Tripura were present. A video message from the Bangladesh Prime Minister was played on the occasion.

Addressing the event, PM Modi  said that Tripura is experiencing the clear difference between the 30 years of earlier governments and the ‘double engine’ government of the last three years. In place of corruption and commission culture of earlier years, benefits are reaching directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries. He also recalled that employees who were hassled over salary on time are getting salary as per 7th pay commission.

For the first time, MSP has been decided in Tripura where farmers used to face many problems in selling their produce, the PM said. He also noted the environment of ease of doing business in place of the earlier culture of strikes. New investments are changing the earlier scenario of closure of industry. He said exports from Tripura in terms of volume have increased  5 times, according to a PIB release.

The PM informed that said there has been a significant hike in the central allocation for the state. Tripura had received Rs 3,500 crore for central development schemes between 2009-2014 whereas, between 2014-2019 more than Rs 12,000 crore has been provided to it.

The PM dwelled on the benefits of ‘double engine’ governments. He said that the ‘double engine’ government has transformed Tripura from a power deficit state to a power surplus one. He listed other transformation brought in by the ‘double engine’ government to the state like connecting 2 lakh rural households with piped drinking water, providing 2.5 lakh free gas connection, making every village in Tripura open defecation free, 50,000 pregnant women receiving the benefit of Matru Vandana Yojana, and 40,000 poor families getting their new homes, etc.

PM Modi said that connectivity related infrastructure has seen tremendous improvement in the last three years. He cited the rapid work for the airport, sea-link for internet in Tripura, rail link and waterways in this regard. He talked of HIRA development i.e. Highways, i-ways, Railways and Airways for Tripura.

The Prime Minister said that the entire region is being developed as a trade corridor between Northeast India and Bangladesh. He emphasised that the rail and water connectivity projects that have been realised in the recent years have been strengthened by this bridge. This will improve connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and South-East Asia. He said that the bridge will give an impetus to the economic opportunity in Bangladesh also. The Prime Minister thanked the Bangladesh Government and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for the cooperation in the completion of the bridge project. The PM said that the foundation stone of the bridge was laid during his visit to Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said that efforts are underway to connect Chittagong port of Bangladesh with North-East through an alternative route via the river. He said the ICP in Sabroom will work like a full-fledged logistic hub with warehouses and container trans-shipment facilities. Due to this bridge over Feni River, Agartala will become the nearest city to an international sea port in India.

PM Modi said that decades old Bru refugee problem found a solution due to the efforts of the government and expressed the hope that the Rs 600 crore package will bring positive change in the lives of Bru people.

The PM said that renaming of the Agartala airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya is a mark of respect for his vision for the development of Tripura. He expressed happiness at the opportunity for honouring the people who have served the rich culture and literature of Tripura like Thanga Darlong, Satyaram Reang, and Benichandra Jamatia.

Congratulating the Tripura government for completing three years, PM Modi hoped that the State Government will continue to serve the people of Tripura.