Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at Naveen Patnaik’s government in Odisha, saying the “demon of corruption” has become strong in the state.
Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in Khurda near here on Monday, Modi alleged that inefficiency and corruption have kept the state backward despite assistance from the Centre, and sought to know who is “feeding and patronising the demon of corruption”.
“The demon of corruption in the form of chit fund scams and PC (percentage commission) culture has grown strong in Odisha,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister set in motion a basket of projects for the state, valued at Rs 145.2 billion. During his day-long visit, Modi also dedicated the new campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Bhubaneswar to the nation.
The campus sprawls over 936 acres at the outskirts of Bhubaneswar and will accommodate over 1,700 students. The premier institute operated from eight makeshift facilities in the city before moving to the new campus, set up at an investment of Rs 12.6 billion.
“I got the opportunity to dedicate IIT-Bhubaneswar to the youth. This grand campus will not only be a centre of dreams for the youth of Odisha but will also provide employment opportunities,” Modi said.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for the permanent campus of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur from the IIT campus. The institute is coming up on a 200-acre plot in Ganjam district with an investment of Rs 16 billion.
“In the last four years and a half, the Union government has approved many institutions relating to education, science and technology throughout the country. It gives impetus to the government’s vision of a New India,” he added.
The Rs 100 commemorative coin which was released in the memory of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the eve of his birth anniversary, in New Delhi | Photo: PTI
In the oil and gas sector, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the 1212-km products pipeline of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL). To be built at a cost of Rs 38 billion, the cross-country pipeline will traverse Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, carrying diesel, kerosene and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) sourced from IOCL’s Paradip crude oil refinery.
The proposed pipeline with a capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) provides connectivity to a new grass root depot at Berhampur (Odisha), and also to IOCL’s existing depots at Vizag, Rajahmundry and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad along with associated facilities at Paradip refinery and the depots at Rajahmundry and Vijayawada.
The foundation stone of the Bokaro-Angul section — part of the 2650-km Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline being constructed by GAIL (India), envisaging an investment of Rs 34 billion — was also laid by Modi.
As a part of the bicentenary celebration of the historic Paika rebellion, he released commemorative coins and Rs 5 postage stamps.
(With inputs from agencies)