Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundations of multiple development projects worth over 3,425 crores to expedite growth of the economically backward Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.

At an event in Jhansi in the poll-bound state, he laid the foundation of a 600-megawatt Ultra Mega Solar Power Park. The park is being constructed at a cost of over 3,013 crores and will help provide cheaper electricity and grid stability.

He also laid the foundation of the 400-crore project at the Jhansi node of Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor. The project is being executed by Bharat Dynamics Ltd for setting up a plant to produce propulsion systems for anti-tank guided missiles.

The PM also inaugurated Atal Ekta Park in Jhansi. Named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the park has been built at a cost of over 12 crores, and is spread over an area of about 40,000 square metres. The park will house a library as well as a statue of Vajpayee.

The statue has been built by renowned sculptor Ram Sutar, the man behind the Statue of Unity, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).A grand ceremony took place in the Jhansi Fort area for the birthday of Rani Lakshmi Bai, the embodiment of courage and bravery and the great national icon of Rashtra Raksha and India’s struggle for independence.

The three-day Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv, which started on Wednesday, ended with Modi. To give a major boost to Aatmanirbhar Bharat’s defense program, the Prime Minister formally handed over the defense equipment he designed and developed himself to the three commanders of the armed forces in Jansi.

At the ceremony, Modi formally presented the Air Force Commander with a light fighter aircraft (LCH) designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a drone and UAV built by Indian start-up, Army Commander and designed by DRDO and Bharat. Electronics Limited – manufactures advanced electronic warfare equipment for naval vessels for fleet commanders.

Earlier in the day, at an event in Mahoba, the Prime Minister presented a project worth more than 3,240 rupees aimed at ending water shortages for farmers in the parched Bundelkhand region.