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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs high-level meeting on infrastructure

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting on infrastructure. During the meeting, he reviewed the status of stalled projects in the infrastructure sector.

Besides a broad overview of the infrastructure scenario in the country, the meeting focused on the specific sectors of rural infrastructure, power, coal, renewable energy and petroleum and natural gas.

The Prime Minister stressed on the need for government departments to work towards initializing spending of the budget, in a focused manner right from the start of the financial year.

The Prime Minister asked for specific data to be collected and presented on priority areas such as toilets, affordable housing and smart cities. He said that in the urban areas, one of the priorities should be in creation of waste to wealth, and efficient systems for waste water disposal and solid waste management in 500 cities.
Reviewing rural infrastructure, the Prime Minister directed that the highest priority be accorded to the work envisaged under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. He said irrigation potential of all reservoir projects should be realized to the extent possible.

In the power sector, the Prime Minister reiterated his emphasis on electrification of the unconnected villages at the earliest. Modi also inquired about the progress on renewable energy goals, and directed maximum focus on this area. He said public spaces such as railway stations should be priority areas for adopting energy efficient technologies, and renewable energy.

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)

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