Describing the roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferry service in the Gulf of Cambay as a unique model for other states, the PM said that he had to struggle hard for the completion of project because of ‘hostilities’ of the previous (UPA) govt at the Centre that had ‘prohibited’ development in the coastal.
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GHOGHA (BHAVNAGAR): Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of his 'dream project', the Rs 650 crore 'roll-on-roll-off' ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch in the Gulf of Cambay, on Sunday, saying that the project was not only important to the country, but also set a benchmark for the South Asian region as a whole.
Describing the roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferry service in the Gulf of Cambay as a unique model for other states, the PM said that he had to struggle hard for the completion of project because of 'hostilities' of the previous (UPA) government at the Centre that had 'prohibited' development in the coastal area.
"Efforts were made to stall industries' and Gujarat's growth. Over last three years, we have changed that and given importance to development," said Modi.
The PM also stressed on the importance of integrated transport system that includes waterways, road, railway and air transport. The ferry service is expected to reduce travel time between Bhavnagar and Bharuch from eight hours (360km by road) to 1.5 hours (31km by sea). In the second phase, the ferry will also transport trucks, light commercial vehicles and cars along with passengers.
"I have been hearing about Ghogha-Dahej ro-ro ferry service since my school days. Many governments have gone but the project never took off. It is destiny that all good works are being carried out during my tenure," he said at his third rally this month in poll-bound Gujarat.
"I wanted this service to begin when I took over as CM, but you won't believe the structural mistakes the previous governments had made in the ro-ro ferry service design. They had asked the operators to build terminals. How can bus operators or airline operators be asked to build bus stations and airports? We changed the policy and made the terminal and did the dredging. Now, the operations will be handed over to the private operator and government will be partner in profits," the PM added.
Modi termed the ro-ro service as a model for other states and said that it will bring about new kind of socio-economic development for the two of the most industrialised towns of the state and drastically reduce vehicular traffic there. He also announced alternate roads being built connecting Bhavnagar and Alang ship breaking yard to ease the traffic there. The roads to important port will also be widened, he added.
"After the completion of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, this project will gain importance. The service will also be extended to Hazira, Jafrabad, Daman and Diu. A similar project is also in offing in the Gulf of Kutch to connect Jamnagar with Mandvi," he said.
Faced hostility from Centre during my tenure as Gujarat CM, says PM Modi