On February 14, 2021, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi visited Tamil Nadu & Kerala. During the visit he inaugurated, laid the foundation stone for various projects in the two states.
PM Modi’s Visit to Tamil Nadu:
During his visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated & Laid Foundation Stones for several Projects from Chennai. They are
- Inauguration of Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I Extension
- Inauguration of Fourth Railway line between Chennai Beach & Attipattu
- Inauguration of Railway Electrification of single line section in Villupuram-Cuddalore-Mayiladuthurai-Thanjavur & Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur.
- Laid Foundation Stone for Extension, Renovation & Modernization of the Grand Anicut Canal System
- Foundation Stone for Discovery Campus of IIT Madras
- Handed over the Indigenously Developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Indian Army.
Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Paneerselvam, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu were present during the event.
Inauguration of Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I:
PM Modi inaugurated the 9.5 Km long Phase-I Extension of Chennai Metro Rail.
- Constructed at a cost INR 3, 770 Crore it links North Chennai with the airport & Central Railway Station.
- He stated that INR 63, 000 Crore has been set aside for 119 Kilometres of Phase 2 of the Chennai Metro Rail in the Union Budget of 2021-22 which is one of the largest projects sanctioned for any city in one-go.
- The project has been developed along the lines of Government’s ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ vision. The rolling stock for the lines were procured locally & civil construction activities have been done by Indian contractors.
Inauguration of 4th Railway Line:
- He inaugurated the 4th Railway Between Chennai Beach and Attipattu.
- The 22.1 Km long Railway line passes through Chennai & Thiruvallur districts and has been laid at a cost INR 293.40 crores.
- The project will minimize operational bottlenecks from Chennai Port, Ennore Port & other major yards.
He inaugurated the railway electrification of a single line section in Villupuram-Cuddalore-Mayiladuthurai-Thanjavur & Mayiladuthurai-Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu.
- Through the project, 228 Kms of the route has been electrified at a cost INR 423 crores.
- The project will enable free flow of traffic & will result in saving of INR 14.61 Lakh per day on Fuel Cost.
Modernization of Grand Anicut Canal System:
He laid Foundation stone for the Modernisation of the 636 Kilometre long Grand Anicut Canal System (also known as Kallanai).
- The modernization will be taken up at a cost of INR 2, 640 crores and will benefit the farmers in Delta districts (especially Thanjavur & Pudukkottai) who are dependent on this dam for irrigation.
- It will improve irrigation facilities for 2.27 lakh acres of land in the delta districts.
Discovery Campus at IIT Madras:
The PM laid Foundation Stone for Discovery Campus at IIT Madras. The Institute will be developed as a key destination for Global scientific discovery.
- It will be built in Thaiyur near Chennai at an estimated cost of INR 1, 000 Crore in the 1st phase.
- The campus will be spread over an area of 2 Lakh Square Kilometres.
Two Research Centres have been planned for the Discovery Campus and they are expected to become operational by the end of 2021. They are
i.‘National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways & Coasts’ funded by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
- It will house India’s 1st Large ‘Shallow Water Basin’ facility for coastal and estuarine research and industrial applications.
ii.‘Solid Propellant Combustion Modelling Facility’ of the Centre of Propulsion Technology funded by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Handing over of Arjun Main Battle Tank (Mk-1A) to Indian Army:
During the event, PM Narendra Modi handed over the Indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (Mk-1A) to Indian Army.
- Indian Army will get 118 units of MBT to strengthen its capabilities.
- Arjun MBT (Mk-1A) have indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by CVRDE (Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) & DRDO along with 15 academic institutions, 8 labs and several MSMEs.
- The biggest upgrade in the latest version (Mk-1A) tank is that it achieved 54.3 % Indigenous Content compared to 41% in the previous model.
- The Arjun MBT project was started by DRDO in 1972 with CVRDE, Avadi, Chennai as its main laboratory.
PM’s Visit to Kerala:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for various projects in Kochi, Kerala. They are
- Inaugurated Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
- Launches 2 Ro-Ro Vessels to be operated between Bolgatty & Willingdon Island
- Inaugurated India’s 1st Full-fledged International Cruise Terminal – ‘Sagarika’
- Laid Foundation stone for reconstruction of South Coal Berth in Cochin Port
- Inaugurated Cochin Shipyard ‘Vigyana Sagar’ Marine Engineering Training Institute, the only maritime training institute in India functioning within a Shipyard.
Arif Mohammad Khan, Governor of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan & others present during the event.
Inauguration of Petrochemical Project:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical complex of Oil Major Bharat Petroleum at Kochi. The Petrochemical Complex is part of the expansion of BPCL’s Kochi Refinery.
- It was commissioned at an investment of ~ INR 6, 000 Crore and is expected to save between INR 3, 700 Crore-4, 000 Crore annually in Foreign Exchange.
- The capacity of the refinery has been increased to 15.5 Million tonnes per year.
- It will produce detergents and paints to coatings, solvents, glues, water purifying agents & plasticizers.
- The expansion of the refinery capacity included amenities for Euro-IV/VI compliant auto-fuel which will meet the increasing demand for clean fuel in India.
Launch of 2 Ro-Ro Vessels:
He launched 2 new Roll-on/Roll-off vessels (Ro-Ro) vessels of Inland Waterways at Willingdon Islands. It will be operated by Inland Waterways Authority (IWA).
- The 2 Ro-Ro vessels will carry cargos between Bolgatty & Willingdon Island on National Waterway-3.
- The vessels will shorten a distance of 3 Kilometres on road to 3.5 Kms through waterways, and will ease traffic congestion.
- It has the capacity to carry six 20-feet trucks, three 20-feet trailer trucks & 30 passengers each.
‘Sagarika’ – India’s 1st International Cruise Terminal:
It is situated at the Ernakulam Wharf on Willingdon Island and is India’s 1st full-fledged International Cruise Terminal.
- It has been constructed at a cost of INR 25.72 Crore and has the capacity to serve around 1 Lakh Cruise guests.
- The terminal provides all statutory clearances like Customs & Immigration, for cruise passengers & other facilities like walk-in-berthing, assures quality bunkers and fresh water services.
Other Key Launches:
i.He laid the Foundation stone for Reconstruction of Cochin Port Trust’s South Coal Berth
- It will help in reducing logistics costs and improve the cargo capacities.
ii.He inaugurated ‘Vigyan Sagar’ which is a new knowledge campus of Cochin Shipyard.
- The Marine Engineering Training Institute is the only maritime training institute in India functioning within a Shipyard.
About Tamil Nadu:
Dams – Sathanur Dam (on river Thenpennai), Mettur Dam (on river Cauvery)
Ports – Cochin Port, Kollam (formerly Quilon) Port