While governments before 2014 considered speed a luxury and scale a risk, this government considers speed an aspiration and scale a strength, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating a slew of infrastructure projects, including the first Vande Bharat Express in south India, and a 108-foot statue of Kempe Gowda in Bengaluru on November 11.
“A digital infrastructure like BHIM UPI, that even foreign countries are now looking at, and a Made In India 5G network were beyond imagination before 2014, as the thinking of those governments were too old school,” he claimed.
“Gone are the days when the country dithered. Now, it is going full speed,” he said, describing this as the mark of the ‘yuva (youngster’s) spirit, to do something new and to think different’, best embodied in the ‘start-up spirit of Bengaluru that has put India in a different league’.
After flagging off the Vande Bharat Express between Chennai and Mysuru, Mr. Modi said the train is only a ‘jhalak’ (trailer) of the transformation of Indian Railways over the next 10 years. “Over 400 Vande Bharat trains, Vistadome coaches and train stations, like the upgraded Sir M Visvesvaraya Railway Terminal in Bengaluru, will become the identity of Indian Railways,” he said.
Fastest growing air travel market in the world
The Prime Minister said India is one of the fastest growing air travel markets in the world, and this is an indication of the fast development of the country. To cater to this growth, the number of airports in India had doubled in the last eight years from 70 before 2014, to over 140 now.
“Airports increase the business and investment potential of these cities, helping us build a new India,” he said, adding the Terminal 2 he inaugurated at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on November 11, will bring new user experience and facilities to air passengers.
‘Transformation of Bengaluru was made possible by double-engine government in Karnataka’
The Prime Minister acknowledged the contribution of ‘start-up city’ Bengaluru’s professionals in this ‘transformation’, and said it was made possible by the ‘double engine government’ of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka. The State attracted investment of over ₹4 lakh crore, ‘not just in Information Technology, but also in diverse fields from ranging from biotechnology to defence manufacturing’.
Karnataka contributes over 50% to the aircraft and spacecraft industry in India, and 70% of the helicopters and aerial vehicles for the armed forces are manufactured in Bengaluru, and the city is also leading in the electric vehicle space. “Of the Fortune 500 companies, 400-plus companies are doing business in Bengaluru, and the list is only growing,” he said.