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‘Border areas, places at edge of sea our govt’s priority’: PM Modi in Lakshadweep

Reaching out to the people of the Muslim-dominated Lakshadweep, which witnessed massive protests against reforms introduced by his government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the archipelago is small, but its heart is large.

The Prime Minister was here to inaugurate and lay the foundation for various projects worth Rs 1,150 crore in the Union Territory.

PM Modi in Lakshadweep

“The area of Lakshadweep may be small, but its heart is huge. I am overwhelmed by the love and blessings I am receiving here. I express my gratitude to you all,” said the Prime Minister who reached the islands on Tuesday.

The projects were launched at a function attended by hundreds of islanders including women and children.

After launching the projects, Modi took a dig at the previous non-BJP governments at the Centre, stating that their only priority for decades was the development of their political parties. “Far-off states, border areas, or those in the middle of the ocean were not given any attention,” he said.

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Elaborating on the steps taken by his government for the development of such areas, Modi said, “In the last 10 years, our government has made border areas and locations at the edge of the sea its priority.” “In 2020, I guaranteed you that you would get a fast internet facility within the next 1,000 days. Today, the Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine Optical Fibre Project has been inaugurated. Now, the internet in Lakshadweep will be available at 100 times higher speed,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi had announced the project in his Independence Day speech in August 2020 at the Red Fort in Delhi.

The transformational initiative aims to overcome the challenge of slow internet speed on Lakshadweep Island. This will result in an increase in internet speed by more than 100 times, from 1.7 Gbps to 200 Gbps, in the islands, according to officials.

They said Lakshadweep is now connected through a submarine optical fiber cable, marking a significant shift in communication infrastructure. This will enhance internet services, telemedicine, e-governance, education, digital banking, currency usage, and literacy in the islands, they said.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Low-Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) plant at Kadmat, which will produce 1.5 lakh liters of clean drinking water every day. Additionally, he dedicated the Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) to the nation in all households on the Agatti and Minicoy islands.

Other projects launched by Modi include the solar power plant at Kavaratti, which is the first battery-backed solar power project in Lakshadweep. He also laid the foundation stone for the renovation of the primary healthcare facility in Kalpeni and the construction of five model Anganwadi centers (Nand Ghars) in the five islands of Androth, Chetlat, Kadmat, Agatti, and Minicoy.

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