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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a strong pitch for the use of public transport to save fuel and costs associated with the import of petroleum. He also said travelling on a Metro train should be a “prestige issue”. Modi was addressing a public meeting in this suburban town in Uttar Pradesh, bordering New Delhi, after launching a 12-km stretch of Delhi Metro’s newly built Magenta Line. He also said good governance was possible only when the mindset of deriving personal benefit, while framing policies and completing projects, was shunned. “For us, decisions are about national interest and not political gains.” “The top 10 industrialists would not travel on the Metro. You will. For us, riding a metro and not driving our private vehicles should be a prestige issue,” he said. A multi-modal transportation system would ensure the use of fuel was cut down, which would help the common man save money and also be useful for the environment, he added. He said governments incur a lot of cost in creating infrastructure but when it is ready it benefits generations to come. Modi also said that by 2022, when India celebrates its 75 years of Independence, he wants to cut down on imported petroleum products. Without getting into specifics, the prime minister lamented that development at times is seen through the prism of politics which is based on the interest of parties. He said development should be an all-round phenomenon. “Governance cannot happen when the dominant thought process begins at ‘mera kya’ (how will it benefit me) and ends at ‘mujhe kya’ (why should I bother). We have changed this mindset. For us, decisions are about national interest and not political gains,” he said.
He said while India is a prosperous country, people have been deprived of its benefits due to poor governance. “But I have taken upon myself to change all this. It is a tough decision (for many) when they have to think whether the policy would benefit them politically,” he said. The prime minister noted that if a policy was in “black and white” and well laid out, it would leave little scope for discretion, thus bringing down corruption.He recalled that on December 24, 2002 the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a ride on the metro. “It was a historic moment. Since then, the Metro network in NCR has expanded considerably,” he said, adding, “Vajpayee was the first person to ride on the Delhi Metro.” Referring to the issue of connectivity, he said people live in an era in which connectivity is all important. “Without connectivity, life comes to a standstill. This Metro... is not only for the present but also for future generations,” he said. Crediting Vajpayee for empowering people through his concept of good governance, Modi said the former premier had put thrust on good governance and connectivity. “The Pradhan Mantri Rural Road scheme was his idea and many do not know about it. Villages are being linked with roads. By 2019, all roads will be linked to roads. The Golden Quadrangle project has also been hastened,” he said. He said states having good governance are flourishing. He thanked the people of Uttar Pradesh for adopting him when he became member of the Lok Sabha from Varanasi. He said the people of the state moulded him to shoulder the responsibility of the country. The prime minister also said that Uttar Pradesh contributed in giving the country a stable government by voting for BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.