Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Republica file photo)
JANAKPUR, May 11: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his two-day official visit to Nepal from holy city of Janakpur on Friday morning stating that the visit is aimed at mending ties with Nepal through the revival of a strong cultural and religious ties that subsists between the two countries.
In his 45-minute speech after receiving civic reception extended to him by Janakpur Sub-metropolitan city, Modi repeatedly reinforced the cultural and religious ties existing between Nepal and India.
"India-Nepal friendship goes back to the the Treta Yuga [the second age of the world]. Raja Dasharatha and Raja Janak not only linked Ayodhya and Janakpur but also India and Nepal," he said.
He also announced to extend IRs 1 billion for the development of Janakpur and its surrounding areas. He said that the Indian government will provide the grant to the government of Nepal, while the provincial government and the Nepal government will jointly identify the projects under which the grant amount would be utilized.
While highlighting the historical importance of Biratnagar, Janakpur, Simraungadh and Lumbini as well as contributions made by various intellectuals in deepening relations between the two countries, Modi said India without Nepal was incomplete.
While stating that 5Ts, meaning tradition, trade, tourism, technology, transport, were important tools of development, Modi announced that India is willing to connect Nepal with its highway, Information way, Transmission way, Railway, Airway and Waterway as the Himalayan nation enters into the path of development after the end of protracted conflict and political transition.
Tens of thousands of people from various eight districts of Province 2 had arrived in Janakpur to take part in the civic reception function. While Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel received Modi at the airport, Prime Minister KP Oli and Chief Minister and other ministers of Province 2 had welcomed Modi at Janaki Temple.