New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) The infrastructure including the road, railways, waterways, airways and energy has seen revolutionary growth and modernisation in the last 10 years of the Narendra Modi Government, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here at his residence, Shekhawat said India is a country that has invested the most in the water sector in the last 10 years. India has invested around US $250 billion across the water spectrum, be it irrigation, river purification, drinking water or groundwater recharge, he said.
He said from independence till 2019, only a little more than 16 per cent of the houses were getting tap water supply. But since 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Jal Jeevan Mission, there has been a revolution in this sector.
The Union minister said 3.5 times more work was done in the water sector in the last four years than what was done during the 72 years of Independence.
"Even after completing 72 years of independence, out of 19.40 crore houses in the country, only 3.23 crore houses were getting drinking water through tap. But today 74 per cent of the houses have started getting drinking water through tap. This means that drinking water is reaching 14.50 crore houses through taps," he said.
"We have been successful in providing tap water to 11.25 crore houses in the last four years. If the work had continued at the same pace as it was done in the 72 years of independence, we would not have been able to reach this milestone even in the next 100 years," he stated.
He said the Union government has been successful in bringing about change in the life of the poor in the past one decade.
According to a joint report by a UN committee, Oxford university and NITI Aayog nearly 25 crore Indians had been pulled out of multi-dimensional poverty over the past decade, he said.
"It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clear belief that in any country's development, the establishment of infrastructure is a medium for sustainable and inclusive growth," he said.
"Be it roads, railways, waterways, airways, database, energy and satellites, there has been a revolution on all these fronts through the formation of new infrastructure under the Modi government," Shekhawat said.
He said according to many studies, India is on the verge of becoming the largest economy as it increased expenditure on infrastructure.
Referring to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) which was introduced in 2000 by former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Shekhwat said in the last nine years 4 lakh kilometer new roads have been built in villages.
The length of the national highways, which was 90,000 km when the Modi government came to power, has increased to 1.46 lakh km. Besides, the work on creating dedicated freight corridors and expressways is going on at a fast pace, he underlined.
"In the coming times, the length of four-lane expressways has increased 2.5 times. The length of high-speed corridors, which was just 500 km, has been increased by multiple times," he stated.
As far as airports are concerned, he highlighted that on the one side while the fares have been reduced, on the other hand airport connectivity has been strengthened. The number of airports, which used to be 74, stands at 149 now, he said.
Similarly on the waterways front, while work was done to strengthen ports of the countries through the Sagarmala project, he said it is PM Modi's belief that coastal areas are the gateway of development and their infrastructure needs to be strengthened, he said.
"On the railways front, on the one side while we are witnessing modern semi-high speed trains like Vande Bharat and Namo Bharat getting operational, on the other side the work on electrification of railway routes has seen unprecedented growth," he said, adding more than 90 per cent of the railway routes have been electrified today.
New railway routes are being made to decongest routes, he stated.
"While on the one side, work has been done to improve the experience of train journey by the creation of modern coaches, on the other side, work is underway for the modernisation of more than 500 railways stations," he stated. PTI PLB KSS KSS