BJP talks of promises kept as PM Narendra Modi opens Ro-Ro ferry service
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a roll-on, roll-off ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat, a project stuck at the Centre since 2012.
On his third trip to the election-bound state this month, the PM slammed the previous governments saying they had tried their best to stall the Rs 615 crore project and the state’s industrial growth. BJP leaders termed the Ro-Ro ferry service a gift to Saurashtra and Saurashtrians living in other parts of the state as it would link southern Gujarat and Saurashtra and, by allowing vehicles with passengers aboard, save travel time and fuel, while easing traffic on congested roads. The 31-km ferry service will cut travel time from nearly eight hours to just about one hour.
“Be it the Narmada dam or the Ro-Ro ferry, the BJP has fulfilled every promise it made in the state in the past five years,” said a BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified. On Sunday the PM, who had laid the foundation stone of the Ro-Ro ferry service in January 2012 as Gujarat chief minister, inaugurated Phase 1 of the service and travelled on the maiden voyage of the ferry.
Calling it South Asia’s first world-class project, the PM said at a programme in Bhavnagar that the government was giving the country a transport system of the 21st century that would meet the needs of the ‘New India’.
Attacking the UPA II government, PM said: “I had laid the foundation stone for the project in 2012, but for doing work in the ocean, you had to remain dependent on the central government then. There were such people in the central government that they had put a ban on development from Vapi to Mandvi in Kutch along coastal Gujarat.”
A similar project is being built by the Centre in Maharashtra to connect Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. The ferry service will hugely benefit the people working in the diamond-cutting and polishing hub of Surat, BJP leaders said.
Officials said there are also ambitious plans to connect the state to Mumbai and to southern states by this link and extend the service to other locations across the Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government has given a new mantra “P for P” -- implying ports for prosperity. “Ports are the gateway to prosp erity for the country.
Understanding this, we have launched the Sagarmala project in which old ports are being upgraded,” he said. Highlighting the importance of waterways, Modi said goods can be transported through waterways at a cost of 20 paise per tonne, while it will take Rs 1 through railways and Rs 1.5 by road. “The earlier government had not given any importance to transportation by waterways. Before we (NDA government) came, there were six waterways. Now we have identified more than 100 waterways,” the prime minister said.
Follow Us on Twitterleaders termed Ro-Ro ferry service gift Saurashtra Saurashtrians living other parts state would link southern Gujarat Saurashtra.