Daltonganj (Jharkhand), Jan 5 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation of several irrigation projects in Jharkhand, including Rs 2,391.36 crore Mandal dam, that will provide irrigation to 19,604-hectare area in Palamu and Garhwa districts.

Modi, prior to addressing a public rally here, also handed over keys of houses to five beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

The Mandal dam, work on which began in 1972, but was stalled since 1993, will be built on the North Koel river in Barwadih block of Latehar district.

Taking a dig at previous governments, Modi said they were least bothered about farmers’ welfare in Jharkhand, and the delay in completing the Mandal dam project was proof of that.

“We consider farmers as ‘annadata’ (provider of food), unlike the previous governments who considered them as mere vote bank,” the prime minister said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.