Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the upgrade of the existing Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela to a super-speciality hospital-cum-medical college. Addressing a public meeting at Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), he also promised a second bridge over the Brahmani river for the benefit of the people of Rourkela.
This was the first visit of Modi to Odisha after he became the prime minister. Noting that Odisha is preparing for the “Nabakalebara” festival of Lord Jagannath this year, he said the central government would extend all necessary assistance for the event.
Modi, who began and ended his speech by chanting “Jai Jagannath”, said the Centre would sanction Rs.50 crore for the festival to be held at Puri in July this year. Advocating development of India’s eastern region like the other regions of the country, he said Odisha would benefit from the auction of coal and other minerals.
He said the natural mineral resources should be used for value addition, and laid emphasis on export of finished products instead of raw materials outside the country.
Stating that the Centre and states were equal stakeholders in the nation’s development, Modi highlighted steps taken by his government to strengthen states, including enhancing mineral royalty and greater devolution of financial resources to states.
He said the central government has hiked royalty on minerals, thereby benefiting Odisha, after coming to power and increased allocation to Rs.25,000 crore in the 14th Finance Commission. It had reached Rs.18,000 crore in the last 60 years.
The prime minister said the steel of the Rourkela Steel Plant is being used for ammunition and tanks for security purposes of the country.
He described Rourkela as the town which has given India the strength of steel. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the importance of Odisha has increased in the steel map of the country. He hoped that Odisha will play a major role in the industrial growth of the country.
On the occasion of Utkala Dibasa, the foundation day of Odisha, Modi and other dignitaries offered floral tributes to the founders of Odisha. Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir, union ministers Jual Oram, Narendra Singh Tomar, Dharmendra Pradhan and other officials were also present. (IANS)