PM drops by at Maoist belt to open Modicare centre, a railway line and fibre-optic network

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the first health centre under the National Health Protection Scheme, which aims to cover 100 million poor and vulnerable families across India.

  • Published 14.04.18
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh at the Jangla rural BPO. Picture: @drramansingh

Jangala (Bijapur), Apr. 14 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the first health centre under the National Health Protection Scheme, which aims to cover 100 million poor and vulnerable families across India.

The scheme, branded Ayushman Bharat and also known as Modicare, will create a primary-healthcare network and also cover annual costs of up to Rs 5 lakh a family for free treatment of serious illnesses. 

Modi, the first prime minister to visit Bijapur, one of the 27 districts of Chattisgarh, also inaugurated the first phase of the Bastar Internet scheme, which will connect seven tribal districts in the state’s Maoist belt to the broadband world via 40,000km of fibre optic cable.

These seven districts—Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar, Kanker, Kondagaon, Sukma and Dantewada—are among the 16 in Chattisgarh and total of 106 across 10 states that have been affected by Left-wing extremism.

Modi also inaugurated a railway line and a passenger train between Gudum and Bhanupratapur, bringing north Bastar region on India’s railway map.

This was Modi’s fourth visit to Chhattisgarh, where assembly elections are due later the year. He had visited Dantewada in May 2015, Naya Raipur and Rajnandgaon in February 2016 and Naya Raipur in November 2016.

Modi also inaugurated bank branches in seven villages and visited a rural BPO or business-process outsourcing centre developed under the India BPO promotion scheme. The BPO centre is provided Internet by the Bastar internet scheme.

He also laid foundation stones for road and bridge projects worth over Rs 1,700 crore.

The prime minister's visit to the state coincides with the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda were with Modi as he inaugurated the centre.

Under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the government aims to open 1.5 lakh health and wellness centre by 2022, which would be equipped to treat a host of diseases, including blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and old-age illness.

The details of the scheme, announced in February this year in the budget for 2018-19, are being worked out.

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