PM to hand over Arjun tank to Army in Chennai on Sunday, inaugurate projects in TN, Kerala

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hand over the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MK-1A) to the Army in Chennai on Sunday and also inaugurate and lay the foundation stones of several projects in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

A PMO statement on Friday said these projects, including the launch of a Chennai Metro project and a petrochemical complex in Kerala, will add crucial momentum to the growth trajectory of these states and help hasten the pace for them to realise their full development potential.

In Chennai, Modi will hand over to the Army the state-of-the-art the Arjun tank, which has been indigenously designed and developed, and manufactured by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, DRDO along with 15 academic institutions, eight labs and several MSMEs, it noted. Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are expected to be held in April-May. During his visit, the prime minister will inaugurate the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension, completed at a cost of Rs 3,770 crore, and commission passenger services from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar.

This 9.05 km long extension will link North Chennai with the Airport and Central Railway Station.

The PMO said he will also inaugurate the fourth railway line between Chennai Beach and Attipattu stations.

This 22.1 km section, laid at a cost of Rs 293.40 crore, traverses through Chennai and Thiruvallur districts and will ease up traffic from Chennai Port.

This section connects the Chennai Port and Ennore Port, and passes through major yards, providing operational flexibility for the movement of trains, the PMO said.

Modi will inaugurate the electrification of a single-line section of 228 km, completed at a cost of Rs 423 crore. This will enable free flow of traffic without the need for a change of traction between Chennai Egmore and Kanyakumari and would result in saving of Rs 14.61 lakh per day on fuel cost, it added. He will also lay the foundation stone for the extension, renovation and modernization of the Grand Anicut Canal System and the Discovery Campus of IIT Madras.

The canal is important for irrigation in the delta districts and the modernization exercise will cost Rs 2,640 crore, leading to an improvement in its water-carrying capacity. The Discovery Campus of IIT Madras will be built at Thaiyur near Chennai at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore in the first phase over an area of 2 lakh sqm.

In Kerala, Modi will dedicate to the nation the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) of BPCL. It will produce acrylates, acrylic acid and oxo-alcohol, which at present are predominantly imported, and is expected to result in saving of about Rs 3,700-4,000 crore per annum in foreign exchange. Constructed at a capital cost of about Rs 6,000 crore, the PDPP complex has been set up close to the refinery to achieve integration of feedstock supply, utilities, off-sites and other facilities, the PMO said.

It will benefit the downstream sector in saving huge costs as a result of the ready availability of feedstock and optimized supply chain management. With its commissioning, Kochi refinery will become the first Indian refinery to produce niche petrochemicals.

The prime minister will dedicate to the nation Ro-Ro vessels at Willingdon Islands, Cochin. The International Waterway Authority of India will deploy two new Roll-on/Roll-off vessels between Bolgatty and Willingdon Island on National Waterway-3.

The Ro-Ro vessels -- MV Adi Shankara and MV CV Raman -- will have the capacity to carry six 20-feet trucks, three 20-feet trailer trucks, three 40-feet trailer trucks and 30 passengers each. The service will benefit trade as a result of reduced transportation cost and transit time, and will also lead to reduced congestion on the roads of Kochi, the statement said.

The prime minister will also inaugurate the International Cruise Terminal 'Sagarika' at Cochin Port.

Situated at the Ernakulam Wharf on Willingdon Island, it is India's first full-fledged international cruise terminal. It has state-of-the-art facilities and has been constructed at a cost of Rs 25.72 crore, the PMO said. 'It will promote tourism, give a fillip to development and will act as an effective instrument for employment generation, earning revenue and foreign exchange,' it said. PTI KR NSD NSD