Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday distributed e boats in his constituency Varanasi. According to Modi, the scheme is an attempt at reducing pollution and the environment friendly solar powered ‘e boats’ will also help keep the Ganga clean.
Launching 11 solar-powered e-boats at the Assi Ghat, the Prime Minister said that the step is in line with his government’s focus on making long-term interventions to empower the poor in their fight against poverty and climb up the ladder, which was not the case during previous governments.
Handing over 11 ‘e boats’ to the local boatmen at the Assi Ghat, Modi said,
This will be a surprise for tourists as they will be keen to come to Varanasi and take a ride on e-boats. This will not only boost tourism but will also benefit the boatmen as they will be able to save Rs 500/day on diesel.
The boats were conventional boats and after removing the diesel engines, eco-friendly chargeable batteries have been fixed with other modifications. Urging the boatmen, Modi said, Whatever money you save, use it for the the well being for your children – their food and education.
Also read : Fighting the odds to save a river: Journey of “Return of the Ganga”
Addressing a gathering on Assi Ghat, he added,
Our approach is in stark contrast with the governments of the past which cared only for vote banks and devised poverty alleviation schemes which never aimed at eradicating poverty as such but only garnering votes of the poor during elections. After the launch of seven satellites recently, we felt a desire to name these after Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Shayma Prasad Mukerjee. But ultimately we heeded the call of our conscience and called these satellites Navik which means boatman. In this way we have aimed at imparting dignity to the boatmen who have rendered invaluable service towards making the ancient city of Kashi famous around the world, he said.
Modi also appealed to the people of Varanasi to keep the city clean and green. It is not my Kashi or your Kashi – it is our Kashi. Let us take a pledge to keep our Kashi and Ganga green and clean, he said.
Modi also distributed 1,001 erickshaws at the DLW grounds. Distributed in assistance with the Bharat Micro Credit (BMC), soon an App will also be made available to book e rickshaws online.