May 22, Kutch – Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of Kandla Port Development Projects totalling 996-crore, including general berths No.14 at a cost of Rs.253-crore and No.16 at a cost of Rs.278-crore.
Addressing the largely attended function at Kandla, he said that Kandla Port Trust (KPT) has the potential to give a new direction to the nation’s economy. He suggested KPT be named after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay befitting his centenary being celebrated all over the country this year. He recalled his close association with Kutch and said that Kandla as the mini-India would be provided connectivity with Iran’s Chabahar Port.
Mr. Modi called upon all the State Governments, Local Self-Governments and the people prepare from now on to celebrate 75th platinum jubilee of India’s Independence in 2022 in a befitting manner.
He also digitally launched the Babasaheb Ambedkar Convention air-conditioned indoor and outdoor Centre at a cost of Rs.15.26-crore to be built at the adjoining town of Gandhidham.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that 40 projects lined-up along the Gujarat’s coastline from Mangrol to Veraval, christened Sagarmala Yojna, will invite investment of Rs.100,000-crore, increasing from Rs.1,800-crore in the past to Rs.4,000-crore last year and Rs.5,000-crore next year. He also called for setting up a museum at Gujarat’s 5000-year-old seaport at Lothal.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that 15 out of 33 districts of Gujarat are situated on the seacoast and 32 per cent of the country’s maritime trade takes place via Gujarat seaports. He said the Ghogha-Dahej ferry service would be started soon, besides development of Dahej, Hazira and Alang. He said the process of starting Maritime University in Gujarat has been initiated. The state’s new port policy would be announced soon.
KPT Chairman Ravi Parmar, in presence of Prime Minister, handed over projects approvals for two mobile harbour cranes worth Rs.94-crore having 3.50 million tonnes annual capacity, railway over bridge with 15-km Kutch salt junction connectivity costing Rs.232.62-crore and fertilizer handling mechanization works costing Rs.122-crore.
Those present on the occasion included Union Ministers of State for Transport Mansukhbhai Mandviya and P. Radhakrishan, Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitinbhai Patel, KPT Trustees R.C. Faldu, Mavjibhai Sorathia and Bharatbhai Rajgor.