Bhubaneswar: In Odisha on a day-long visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a slew of health, education, road and highways projects, worth Rs 14,500 crore, on Monday. (Also read: GST Reduced on Movie Tickets, Anupam Kher Hails PM Modi)

Inaugurating the IIT Bhubaneshwar’s new campus, the PM said, “This grand campus will not just give wings to the dreams of youths, it will also generate employment for them.”

PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of the Indian Institute of Science and Education Research campus (IISER) in Berhampur whose cost is estimated at Rs 1,583 crore. Later, he said, “These new institutions will establish Odisha as a centre of knowledge and innovation.”

Enumerating the Central Government’s schemes which have benefited the people, PM Modi said, “Twelve lakh homes have been built in Odisha under Pradhana Mantri Awas Yojana….18 Lakh farmer families are under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Yojana.”

He said, “Thirty-five lakh gas connections have been given to women in Odisha. Four-and-a-half years ago, only 20% families had a gas connection, now it is 70%. In near future, everyone should have a gas connection, we’re working in that direction.”

Hitting out at the BJD government in the state, the PM said, “While the scope of hygiene is 97% in the country, how has Odisha lagged behind in our campaign against open defecation?”

He asked, “How is this state’s youth forced to leave in search of employment…why are women and children here succumbing to malnutrition?”

He said his Government would ensure that the people of Odisha got better health care. “In this regard, the Centre has approved five new medical colleges for the state,” he said. He added, “Today, people of Odisha are asking why the state has not accepted Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. If Odisha had implemented this scheme, people would have got free medical care across the country.”

Focusing on farmers, PM Modi said the Centre was focusing on ways of supplementing a farmer’s income by means of poultry farming, fishery and animal farming.