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NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid the foundation stone for rail and road projects worth over 27,000 crore in Bengaluru.

Addressing a gathering, Modi said the foundation stone for five national highway and seven railway projects have been laid in Karnataka.

He also lauded the significant milestone of 100% electrification of Konkan Railway. All these projects will present new facilities and opportunities to the youth, middle class, farmers, workers and entrepreneurs of Karnataka, he said.

“Bengaluru is a city of dreams for lakhs of youth of the country; the city is a reflection of the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha’."

Modi said the “double engine" government is working on every possible means like strengthening infrastructure like rail, road, metro, underpass and flyovers to rid Bengaluru of traffic jams.

“Our government is committed to connecting the suburban areas of Bengaluru with better connectivity."

The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to delivering the projects in time. “We will work hard to fulfil the dreams of people of Bengaluru in the next 40 months which were pending for the last 40 years."

The Bengaluru suburban rail project will connect Bengaluru city with its suburbs and satellite townships and this will have a multiplier effect.

Similarly, the Bengaluru Ring Road project will reduce the city’s congestion, he added.

Modi dedicated to the nation India’s first air-conditioned railway station - Sir M Visvesvaraya Railway Station at Baiyappanahalli, which has been developed on the lines of a modern airport at a cost of 315 crore.

“We have taken the rail to those parts of the country where it was difficult to even think about it. Indian Railways is now trying to provide those facilities and the ambience which was once found only in airports and air travel. The modern railway station in Bengaluru named after Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya is also a direct proof of this," he said.

The Bengaluru suburban rail project (BSRP), which is to be built at a cost of over 15,700 crore, envisages four corridors with a route length of over 148 km.

Multimodal connectivity is getting a new impetus fromPM GatiShakti National Masterplan. “The upcoming multimodal logistics are part of this vision. Such projects that are being undertaken with the spirit of GatiShakti will give employment to the youth and also strengthen the ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ Campaign," Modi said.

With the change in the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), new avenues of growth have been thrown open. As a mark of confidence in ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, India has done away with foreign participation in contracts of up to 200 crore. Central government departments have been directed to make purchases of up to 25% from MSMEs. GeM portal is proving to be a great enabler for the MSME segment, Modi said while highlighting the importance of MSMEs.

Referring to the strides made in the startup sector, Modi said that while the first 10,000 startups took 800 days after 2014, today a similar number is being added in less than 200 days. The valuation of unicorns -- startups valued at $1bn -- created in the last eight years is about 12 trillion, he added.

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