PM Modi launches several oil and gas projects in poll-bound Assam
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched several oil and gas projects, inaugurated an engineering college and laid the foundation stone of another in Assam on Monday. This is his third visit to the poll-bound state within a month.
“Despite immense potential, previous governments treated the North Bank of Brahmaputra (in Assam) in a step-motherly manner. Connectivity, hospitals, educational institutions or industry was not a concern of these earlier governments,” said Modi in a public meeting at Silapathar.
“Such bias was removed with the coming of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government led by Sarbananda Sonowal. Work on the Bogibeel bridge on Brahmaputra was sped up and broad-gauge railway lines reached this area after our government came to power. Work on the second bridge at Kalia-Bhomora over Brahmaputra is going on at a fast pace,” he added.
The PM also indicated that the schedule for the assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry could be announced in the first week of next month.
The Election Commission of India is the autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at the national and state level.
“I know you all are waiting for the election. If we assume March 7 as the date of election announcement, since last time it was announced on March 4 , this time it could be announced around that time. Whatever time I get in the interim I will try to keep coming to meet you all,” he said at a public meeting in Assam’s Dhemaji.
The PM dedicated the INDMAX unit at Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) Bongaigaon refinery to the nation. INDMAX is an indigenously developed technology by IOC to produce a high yield of LPG and high-octane gasoline from various petroleum fractions.
The unit will increase the refinery’s crude processing capacity from 2.35MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) to 2.7MMTPA. Its commissioning will also significantly enhance LPG production from 50TMT (thousand metric tonnes) to 257TMT and the Motor Spirit (Petrol) production from 210TMT to 533TMT.
Modi will also inaugurate Oil India Limited’s secondary tank farm at Madhuban in Dibrugarh and a gas compressor unit at Hebeda in Makum.
The farm has been built for the safe storage of about 40,000 kilolitres of crude oil and the separation of formation water from wet crude oil. The ₹490 crore project, will also have a dehydration unit with an operating capacity of 10,000 kilolitres per day, said a press information bureau release.
The gas compressor station will increase the nation’s crude oil production capacity by nearly 16,500 metric tonnes per annum. Built at a cost of ₹132 crore, the station comprises three low-pressure booster compressors and three high-pressure lifter compressors, it added.
The Dhemaji Engineering College has been built on 276 “bighas” of land, at a cost of about ₹45 crore. It is the seventh government engineering college in the state and will offer BTech courses in civil, mechanical and computer science engineering.
The Sualkuchi Engineering College, whose foundation stone will be laid, will be built on 116 “bighas” of land at a cost of about ₹55 crore.
“The projects will speed up the pace of development of Assam and also increase employment avenues in the state. Out governments are trying to reach the areas and people who have been neglected earlier,” said Modi.
“Our governments at the Centre and Assam have done more for the development of the state in the past few years than what previous governments did for decades,” he added, while urging those present to strengthen the “double-engine” (BJP governments at Centre and state) of growth further.
The programme at Dhemaji was attended by Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and union petroleum and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
On January 23, Modi had addressed a rally in Sivasagar and distributed land allotment certificates to 106,000 landless families. On February 7, he had addressed another rally at Dhekiajuli, laid the foundation stones of two medical colleges and launched the Asom Mala road network project.
On February 18, Modi launched several connectivity projects worth over ₹9,500 crore via video conferencing.
They included the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra project to improve inland water transport connectivity, laying the foundation stone of a 19km bridge connecting Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya and the ground-breaking ceremony (bhumi pujan) of another bridge connecting Jorhat and Majuli island.
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