Lepetkata (Assam), Feb 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the Rs.10,000 crore gas cracker project at Lepetkata in Upper Assam's Dibrugarh district and slammed the earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for its inordinate delay.
"I was, in fact, not supposed to get the opportunity to inaugurate the project. Had this project been completed and inaugurated 25 years back, Assam would have seen lot of industrial development and employment opportunities for the youth. However, sometimes, I feel I am destined to (do) good works," Modi said while inaugurating the project.
The prime minister, who arrived in Assam on Friday, headed straight to Dibrugarh for the inauguration of the Assam Gas Cracker Project and a wax producing unit at the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Golaghat district.
"Today, two major projects will be dedicated to the nation in Assam's Dibrugarh district. These two projects are not only important for Assam but also for the entire country. These two projects not only will provide employment opportunities but also push the overall growth of the country," the prime minister said.
The gas cracker project was envisaged by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 and given shape by Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister in 1985 at the end of the six-year- long anti-foreigners agitation. The then prime minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the project in 2007.
The petrochemical project will use naphtha and natural gas from the state's oilfields to produce ethylene for manufacturing polymers. Executed by the Brahmaputra Crackers and Polymers Ltd., the project missed several deadlines and overshot the budget.
"My government is determined for the country's development. We have decided to complete thousands of projects which got delayed, irrespective of who laid their foundation stones. The gas cracker project in Assam is one of them," he said.
The prime minister reiterated National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's commitment to the development of north-east India and said the region's development had been prioritised.
"We have given huge railway budget to the north-eastern states as rail connectivity will fast-track the region's development. Our government has announced schemes like MUDRA Bank and Start-Up India. I appeal to the region's youth to come forward and take advantage of these schemes and contribute towards the country's growth," he said.
"Our government has also launched a skill development mission, not only to create jobs but also enhance employability of the youth," he said.