Prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Monday said the Centre is working towards tackling the problem of single-use plastic and the country has already achieved the target set for 2030 of making 40% of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy.
Addressing a massive public meeting at the Paddal ground in this Himachal Pradesh town, known as Chotti Kashi, on the completion of four years of the BJP government led by Jai Ram Thakur, the PM said that the government is also alert about the damage caused to the mountains due to plastic.
"Along with the nationwide campaign against single-use plastic, our government is also working on plastic waste management."
Urging the tourists, he said it is also their responsibility not to litter the hills and rivers with plastic.
After inaugurating and laying the foundation stones of four mega hydropower projects of Rs11,000 crore, Mr Modi said these projects are a part of the climate-friendly new India and aim at conserving the environment.
Highlighting the country's efforts towards conserving the environment along with building developmental infrastructure, the PM said this step was being recognised even globally.
"From solar power to hydropower, from wind power to green hydrogen, the country is working continuously to make full use of every resource of renewable energy," Mr Modi said.
"India has achieved the target which was set for 2030, of making 40% of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy this year itself. The whole world is praising India for how our country is accelerating development while saving the environment. Our country is working continuously to make full use of every resource of renewable energy."
Mr Modi laid the foundation of the Rs 7,000-crore Renukaji dam project along with other hydro projects. The Renukaji dam in Sirmaur district, which was laying pending for three decades, will substantially add to the water supply of the national capital. Six states -- Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi -- were brought together by the Centre for making the project possible.
Before launching the projects, Mr Modi, whose visit to the state in the Jai Ram Thakur government was fourth, also attended the second ground-breaking ceremony of Himachal Pradesh's Global Investors' Meet that is expected to give a boost to investments through 287 projects of Rs28,197 crore.
The first groundbreaking ceremony was held in the state capital on 27 December 2019, in the presence of Union home Minister Amit Shah.
Repeatedly enumerating the benefits of the 'double-engine government', meaning the same party government both in the Centre and the state, the PM, who was donning a Himachali cap and shawl, said the development and transformation of Himachal Pradesh under the BJP has not stopped. "In these four years, for two years we fought strongly against corona and also didn't allow development projects to stop."
"Several developmental projects have come up in the state, and infrastructure has improved drastically under the Jai Ram Thakur government."
Trying to build rapport with the people, Modi, who started his half an hour speech in a local dialect and said he was blessed to be in 'Chotti Kashi', congratulated the state government for completing four years. "Four years have seen the state transform rapidly under the leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur."
He said his government has decided that the age of marriage for daughters and sons should be the same. "With this move, the daughters will get full time to study and make a career," said Modi, who got a loud applause from the women audience.
The PM, who thanked the audience for gathering, despite the harsh winter, said Himachal Pradesh had set an example through organic and natural farming as the state. He said the state has an immense potential in pharmaceuticals, besides food processing and agriculture and these must be developed.
"The work done by our government in the last seven years to increase the security of the country, the decisions taken for the soldiers, ex-servicemen, have benefited the people of Himachal as well."
Indirectly slamming the previous Congress governments, Mr Modi said, "There are two development models in the state. One is 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas'. The other model is 'Khud ka swarth, parivaar ka swarth'. The Himachal government is working on the first model."
Interestingly, local Congress member of Parliament(MP) Pratibha Singh was conspicuous by her absence from Mr Modi's programmes.
Earlier, chief minister Thakur said the state government has reformed in every sector and benefited its citizens.
He thanked the PM for his special attention and love for the state.
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