Guwahati | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening concluded his tour of Assam by rolling out a series of railway projects across the Northeast, besides commissioning a methanol plant and laying the foundation stone for a bridge over the Brahmaputra river.
Modi claimed that in the last nine years since his government came to power, the definition of connectivity had been changed bringing the northeast nearer to the rest of the country.
The prime minister also witnessed a mega-Bihu dance performance - which has made it to the Guinness World Records - where more than 11,000 dancers and drummers performed at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here.
"In the last nine years, we have changed the old definition of connectivity. It's now four dimensional -- physical, digital, social and cultural connectivity," he said.
He said that in the past few years, youth from the region “have left violence and moved on the path to peace.” “The atmosphere of mistrust is disappearing from the North East, the distance between hearts is disappearing … We need to move further closer,” Modi said.
The PM virtually inaugurated the five railway works along with other projects from the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, where he is on a day-long tour.
The new railway projects rolled out by him are Digaru-Lumding and Gauripur-Abhayapuri sections, while doubling of tracks between New Bongaigaon and Dhup Dhara was also inaugurated.
Electrification of the Raninagar-Jalpaiguri-Guwahati, Senchoa-Silghat and Senchoa-Mairabari sections was also launched by Modi. The total cost of these projects is Rs 7,300 crore.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the Palasbari-Sualkuchi bridge over the Brahmaputra river. It will be constructed at an expenditure of Rs 3,200 crore over the next 3-4 years.
Modi also virtually commissioned a methanol plant at Namrup in Dibrugarh by Assam Petrochemicals Ltd (APL) with 500 tonnes per day (TPD) capacity, constructed at an investment of Rs 1,709 crore.
"With commissioning of this methanol plant, now this chemical can be exported to neighbouring countries also, apart from catering to the domestic demand," he said.
The fourth project launched by Modi was the Rs 124-crore beautification work of the 'Rang Ghar', an amphitheatre built by Ahom King Pramatta Singha in the 18th century. This two-storied oval-shaped pavilion in Sivasagar is one of the largest of its kind in Asia.
The Prime Minister also witnessed a mega Bihu dance, organised to globally showcase the folk dance form as a mascot of cultural identity and life of the Assamese people.
This event featured more than 11,000 dancers and drummers in a single venue. After a performance on Thursday, the Bihu recital made two Guinness World Records -- the largest Bihu dance performance in a single venue and the largest 'dhol' (traditional percussion instrument) recital in a single venue.
"I can't forget this moment in my life. This is unprecedented and fabulous. This is Assam. Today, the whole world is witnessing Bihu," Modi said while addressing the gathering.
He said that India's specialities are its culture and tradition, which, for thousands of years, are uniting all people of the land.
"Our biggest dream is a developed India. I appeal to the youths of India and Assam to come forward. You have the courage to win the world," the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting various developmental works by the BJP-led central government, he said that trust is very important for development.