Electricity for 18,000 villages in 1,000 days: Modi

London, Nov 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that 18,000 villages in India that are not connected with electricity will get this basic facility within the next 1,000 days.

The pace and direction of progress in India is such that the fruits of development will be seen very soon,” Modi said in Hindi in his much-awaited address to 60,000 British Indians at the iconic Wembley Stadium here.

“As many as 18,000 villages need electricity. There are not even electricity poles. In the next 1,000 days we will ensure they get it,” he said on the second day of his three-day visit to Britain.

He said that there were places in India where there was electricity but not for 24 hours a day.

The Indian prime minister said that by the year 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he would ensure that there was 24 hours of electricity all over the country.

“We will harness solar, wind and renewable energy. We will generate 175 gigawatts of power one day,” he said.

Earlier, British Prime Cameron and his wife Samantha, dressed in a sari, welcomed Modi as he arrived at Wembley Stadium.

After Modi met with organisers of the much-hyped event, the two leaders interacted with a group of schoolchildren of Indian origin who had performed in the cultural extravaganza that preceded Modi’s speech.

Britain is home to a 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora.

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