Bullet Train, AIIMS Rajkot, Gujarat Lies at the Heart of PM’s India Development, Says CM Patel

When asked about Narendra Modi completing eight years in office as the Prime Minister, Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel had nothing but all praise for him, who, Patel said, has given “special attention” towards the progress of the state when he served as the CM from 2001 to 2014.

Modi has “dedicated himself” towards creating a new identity of India in these 96 years whose seeds were sown during his Gujarat stint as the CM when he first gave a nod to shut gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam under the Narmada Yojana.

Modi granted the permission to Gujarat’s long-standing demand for the closure of Sardar Sarovar Dam gates. This project is considered to be the lifeline of the state. After Prime Minister’s approval, an expert committee was formed which submitted its report redressing the problems of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. With the committee’s consent, the gates were finally closed on June 16, 2017. The closure of the gates opened opportunities in the state as the capacity of the dam grew 3.75 times to 4.73 Million Cubic Meters (MCM).

Gujarat Gets Crude Oil Royalty

Resolving another key issue soon after taking the charge, Modi in March 2015 approved the payment of Rs 763 crore to the Gujarat government as the crude oil royalty to prioritise and needs of the state. This was one another big decision in favour of the state as the matter was pending in the Supreme Court at the time.

AIIMS in Rajkot

There was an enduring demand for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-like institution in the state, and Modi, as the state CM, understood the need. Hence, after becoming the PM, his determination for strengthening the healthcare infrastructure materialised as he gave approval for establishing AIIMS in Rajkot, and later laid its foundation stone in December 2020.

Lighthouse Project for Gujarat

Under the lighthouse project, an ambitious scheme of the ministry of urban affairs, people are provided with sustainable houses considering the local climate and ecology. The states, which are part of this project are: Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat. Showcasing the best new-age global special technology, strong and affordable houses have been built to withstand natural disasters such as the earthquake. Under the Light House Project, 1,144 houses are being built in Rajkot city.

Bullet Train

Another significant gift from Modi to Gujarat is the high-speed bullet train. Ahmedabad along with Mumbai, two of the business centres of India, will be among the first cities to witness the development of this rail corridor. The foundation of this project was laid by Modi on September 14, 2017 in the presence of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Recently, it has been reported that 98% of the land acquisition has been accomplished from Gujarat’s region under this project, said the CM.

Rail Connectivity to Statue of Unity

In the past few years, the Statue of Unity has become a landmark of Gujarat. Tourists from all over the world visit the place to catch the sight of this 182-metre-long statue. To provide ease of access to the visitors, Modi inaugurated Kevadiya Railway Station in January 2021. This enhanced the connectivity towards the world’s tallest statue located in Gujarat. Currently, eight trains of Indian Railways are running on the route.

National Statuses to Some Universities

The Central Government under the leadership of Modi has given the status of Central University to the Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU) and Raksha Shakti University (RSU) (now known as Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) in September 2020. Kishan Reddy, who is the MoS for culture, tourism and development of northeast region, passed a special bill in this regard in Parliament. Both the universities were established under the leadership of Modi when he was the CM. These academic institutions have gained prominence since receiving the status of ‘Institute of National Importance’.

Further, PM Modi also accorded this status to Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar in November 2020 as well. With the conferment of an honorary degree to this 175-year-old institution, it will now also get academic autonomy.

India’s First Railway University

Acknowledging the state’s proficiency in sector-specific education, Modi on Teacher’s Day in 2018 inaugurated India’s first National Rail & Transport Institute in Vadodara that offers undergraduate courses in business administration in transport management and Technology among others.

Global Centre for Traditional Medicine

Last month, Modi laid the foundation stone of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar in the presence of Director General of WHO Tedros Ghebreyesus, Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel. GCTM will pave a way for Gujarat to become the global hub in the traditional medicine in the near future.

Green Airport

Modi has also facilitated the development of Greenfield airport in Rajkot equipped with modern amenities. Located on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway, the airport is being built on over 1,000 hectares at an estimated cost of Rs 1,405 crore. Rajkot, which is the fourth largest city of Gujarat, and the commercial capital of Saurashtra, is surrounded by manufacturing industries. Therefore, this international airport is expected to create much more employment and boost the country’s export.

Hosting World Leaders in Gujarat

“It has been a key feature of Narendra Modi’s tenure as the PM to give equal priority to other states as well besides New Delhi for conducting meetings with the global leaders. Gujarat certainly has always been on top of his list for places to welcome such personalities. The vibrant culture of the state and its hospitality have always been the talk of the town globally during important visit,” CM Patel said.

Soon after assuming office, PM Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2014 and both the leaders held diplomatic discussions at the Sabarmati Riverfront.

In September 2017, former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe landed in Ahmedabad during his India visit, and attended several programmes and laid the foundation of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Train Project, also known as the Bullet Train.

In January 2018, when the former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu visited India for the first time, he first reached Ahmedabad and was accompanied by Modi to attend a few events and inaugurations.

In 2020, former US President Donald Trump visited Gujarat, and Modi gave him a grand welcome and also addressed a gathering at the world’s largest ‘Narendra Modi Stadium’ (then known as Motera Stadium).

In April 2022, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus, and Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth visited Gujarat and participated in some important events.

In April 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Gujarat and became the first British PM to visit Gujarat after Independence. During his tour, he visited India’s first biotechnology university ‘Gujarat Biotechnology University’ established in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, UK. Johnson also visited the Bulldozer Manufacturing Plant in Halol.

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