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In poll-bound Gujarat, Modi opens Rs 650 cr ferry service 

Bhavnagar (Gujarat), Oct 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated a Rs 650-crore roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ferry service that reduces travel time by six hours between Saurashtra and South Gujarat in the election-bound state.

Addressing a gathering here after the inauguration, Modi blasted the Congress saying the previous Congress-led government in the Centre had stalled all Gujarat development projects by creating procedural hurdles in the name of environment.

“When I was the Chief Minster, I faced hostility from the then central Government. People at the Center were like that. From Vapi to Mandvi in Kutch, they (the UPA government) had banned development in the entire coastal area of Gujarat. They had threatened to lock all our industries in the name of environment.”

He said this had changed since he took power in Delhi and gave importance to the Gujarat development. 

“It seems implementation of all good works are my luck. Changes don’t come from cliched attitude but by new thinking. We changed the way of thinking.”

He said the ferry in the Gulf of Khambhat of the Arabian Sea would reduce the travel time between Bhavnagar district in western Gujarat’s Saurashtra region and Dahej in Bharuch district in south Gujarat from seven hours to one hour, cutting the distance between two places to 31 km from 360 km.

“It is a landmark project not only for India but also for the entire South-East Asia. It is a dream come true for the people of Gujarat.”

The Prime Minister said the Ro-Ro ferry was like an “amrit” – the drink of immortality – bestowed upon to the people Gujarat as a blessing from Hindu god of oceans Varuna.

The dream of 6.5 crore Gujaratis had come true as the ferry service would lead to social and economic development in the region and bring thousands of new job opportunities, he said.

The Prime Minister said besides making the lives of crores of people easier, the service also brings them closer and saves fuel by decreasing the number of vehicles on the road. 

“Imagine how much time and petrol this ferry service will save,” he said, adding the facility would not be restricted to just one route. 

“We are planning to link other places,” he said, noting that plans were afoot to expand the service to Hazira and the union territory Diu-Daman at a later stage and various places in Saurashtra. 

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