Reaching out to migrant population, farmers and fishermen ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday launched two key projects, and flagged off a train from Udhna in Surat to Jaynagar in Bihar. The Prime Minister digitally flagged off Antyodaya Express during a rally at Navsari Agriculture University grounds in Makhtampur, Bharuch.
Addressing the rally, he said, “We are emphasising on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s dream of ‘antyodaya’. The Railways thought and worked on it and decided to start the first Antyodaya Express train from Mumbai to Gorakhpur in UP, which passes through Surat, and now the second Antyodaya train has been started from Udhna to Jaynagar in Bihar. The Railway department had recently started Mahanama Express train from Vadodara to Varanasai, via Surat.”
The migrant population in Surat had been agitating for regular trains between the city and states like Bihar and UP.
MoS Railways Rajen Gohain was at Udhna Railway station as Modi and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani flagged off the train remotely.
Reaching out to farmers during the speech, the Prime Minister noted he had earlier decided to reduce GST on urea from the proposed 12 per cent to 5 per cent following several complaints. “I told them (the GST council) to reduce it, and now urea is available to farmers in abundance.”
The Prime Minister further said that earlier subsidised urea was pilfered for industrial use, and farmers were be robbed off as well as the government coffers. “Earlier, the government had ordered 30 per cent neem coating on urea, and when I became PM, I ordered 100 per cent neem coating… now tell me has the pilfering reduced or not? Now tell me, yeh chor-lootere khade hoke Modi ke khilaaf shadyantra karenge ki nahi karenge (Won’t these thugs conspire against Modi)?”
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for a Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals Limited plant for producing neem products. “The neem soap and shampoo produced here… kuchh logon ki dhulayi kar degi (will finish some people),” he said.
Launching the Rs 4,337-crore Bhadbhut barrage project on Narmada river, Modi said, “The people of Bharuch are facing drinking water problem. Through this barrage project, their problems will be solved… Farmers will be happy as their land, which had become non-fertile (due to salinity ingress) will now become fertile as the barrage will stop sea water from mixing with Narmada river.” A bridge that will be constructed across the barrage,joining Dahej to Hazira, will help create twin industrial cities and reduce the distance between them, he said.
He also appealed to the fishermen community to take benefit from a central scheme for purchasing boats. “I request fishermen to take benefit of this scheme by making a group of five fishermen and form a co-operative, so that they can purchase boats, which cost between Rs 1.50 crore and Rs 2 crore. With this boat, they can go deep into the sea up to 22 to 25 nautical miles and can get good quantity of fish… the boats will have cold storage facility,” he said.