Prime Minister Narendra Modi flaged off Humsafar Express between Katihar and Delhi and laid the foundation stone of track-doubling work on Muzaffarpur-Sugauli-Balmikinagar section on Tuesday as a part of the concluding celebration of Champaran Satyagraha centenary.
Addressing an enthusiastic gathering of Swachh Bharat Mission volunteers on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the atmosphere at Motihari today, evokes the same spirit of mass movement, that marked the Champaran Satyagraha a century ago.
“… in this journey of Satayagraha to Swachhagraha, the people of Bihar have shown their ability to lead,” he said emphasising the remarkable progress made in toilet construction in Bihar in the last one week.
“The projects worth over Rs. 6600 crore launched today would go a long way in the development of the region and the State,” the Prime Minister said.
Besides, foundation stones of four sewerage projects, worth over one thousand one hundred crore rupees, have also been laid in the campaign ‘Satyagrah se Swachhagrah’. It is aimed at creating a sewage-treatment capacity of 60 million litres daily for Patna. These projects will ensure that no untreated water goes into the Ganga in Patna and the sewer lines reach every household in the town.
Mahatma Gandhi had launched the “Champaran Satyagrah” on April 10, 1917 against the British to fight for the rights of the farmers, who were forced to undertake indigo cultivation.
The Prime Minister also flaged off the country’s first 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive from the Madhepura locomotive factory.
With the launch, India will join an elite list of countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 horsepower and above capacity electric locomotives. It will help decongest saturated routes by improving the speed and carrying capacity of freight trains.
The Madhepura factory was completed in record 12 months in partnership with a French firm- Alstom. According to the contract between Alstom and Indian Railways, the first five locomotives will be imported while the remaining 795 will be manufactured in the country under the Make-In-India programme
The factory is likely to generate direct and indirect employment for about six lakh people.
(With inputs from PTI)