‘Gujarat has longest coastline, but no efforts were made to develop it’

Bhavnagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said although Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country, no attention was paid for its development for decades post-Independence, but “honest attempts” were made in the last 20 years by the BJP government to turn it into the country’s “door of prosperity”.

He said the BJP government in Gujarat implemented several big-ticket projects along the state’s coastline without wasting money on publicity.

Modi also said that the BJP always fulfils the promises it makes because it believes that power is only a means to serve the people.

He was addressing a public rally at Jawahar Maidan in Bhavnagar city of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region after inaugurating and performing the ground-breaking ceremony of projects worth more than Rs 6,000 crore meant for Bhavnagar, Botad and Amreli districts. Some of these projects in Bhavnagar included the world’s first CNG terminal, development of a brownfield port and a cargo container manufacturing unit.

“Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country, but no attention was paid for its development for decades after India gained independence. As a result, the coastline created challenges for the people living along it,” he said in a veiled attack on the Congress.Due to salinity ingress, people were forced to migrate to bigger cities in search of employment. Entire villages became empty due to this issue. Youths of this region used to migrate to Surat, where they had to live in pitiable condition, he added.

But honest attempts were made in the last 20 years to turn the state’s coastline into India’s door to prosperity, he said the massive gathering.

Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014. Since May 2014, he has been serving as the prime minister of the country.”We have developed many ports and modernised several others. Today, there are three LNG terminals and a petro-chemical hub on the Gujarat coast. Apart from playing a crucial role for the export and import sector, Gujarat’s coastline has created employment opportunities for lakhs of youths,” the prime minister said.According to him, the state’s coastline has now become synonymous with the renewable energy sector and hydrocarbon ecosystem.Apart from developing fishing harbours and fishing landing centres on the coast, the BJP government in Gujarat also did commendable work in mangrove plantation in coastal areas, Modi said, adding, “New solar projects are also coming up, including in Palitana. Such solar power projects will ensure affordable and quality electricity supply for that region.”Talking about the recently launched Ro-Ro ferry service between Ghogha port in Bhavnagar and Hazira in Surat, Modi said that nearly three lakh people have already travelled in the ferry.

Modi also said that he has proved his critics wrong by successfully implementing the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana.


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