January 19, 2021 1:25:18 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the bhoomi pujan of Surat Metro Rail project and launched the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Phase-2 on Monday via video-conferencing, and stated how his government had expedited projects to ease the lives of people.
“There was a time when there was no modern thinking and policy on Metro in our country. The result was that there was a different (type of) metro in each city,” Modi said and added, “There was no uniformity on metro trains that started in different cities. There was no integration of metro with other modes of transport back then.”
Now, an integrated approach has been brought in so that various modes of transport, such bus and trains, complement each other rather than running independently, the PM said.
Surat Metro will be completely elevated and will cover 40 kms with two corridors — connecting Sarthana to Dream City and Bhesan to Saroli. The Ahmedabad Metro Phase 2 will connect the city to the state capital of Gandhinagar along two corridors connecting Motera Stadium to Mahatma Mandir and GNLU to GIFT City.
Crediting Modi with laying the foundation of development in the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said, “The vikas yatra (journey of development) of Gujarat started at a time when the entire country’s faith on democracy was shaken and there was a huge question on people’s mind on whether a multi-party democratic system could take the journey of development forward… Trust in politics and democracy had started shaking when Narendrabhai as chief minister (of Gujarat), laid the foundation of development and took it forward… as a result of which Gujarat got all-round development and became like a brand ambassador of the country.”
Speaking over video-conference, Shah thanked Modi, Union Minister for Urban Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani for Phase II of ahmedabad Metro that would cover his constituency of Gandhinagar.
He said that as a result of what Modi did in Gujarat “today Narendrabhai’s government has come (to power) with complete majority and today he is laying the foundation of a similar all-round development in the country… and in six-and-a-half years, we have seen beautiful results where the world is looking at India differently”.
Modi mentioned how two projects that he launched last year — the Ghogha-Hazira Ro Pax ferry and Girnar Ropeway — “changed the lives of people” with 50,000 people and 14,000 vehicles having taken the ferry and nearly 2.13 lakh people having used the ropeway in just two-and-a-half months.
Gandhinagar had the identity of a city meant for “government servants and retired people”, a “dheela dhaala kshetra (laid back region)”, Modi said adding that in the last few years its image was changing drastically with the establishment of the various academic and professional institutes such as IIT-Gandhinagar, Gujarat National Law University, National Foresnic Science University and Raksha Shakti University.
“With the arrival of these institutes, companies have started setting up campuses, and job opportunities for youth have gone up… conference tourism is growing in Gandhinagar where professionals diplomats, thinkers, leaders come, attend conferences and this city has got a new identity and new direction. It has become a dream city of sorts,” said Modi.
About Surat, he said, “Two decades ago, Surat was remembered as city of plague. The attitude and spirit of Surat people is different… today Surat is country’s eighth largest city in terms of population and world’s fourth fastest growing city.”
Rupani spoke about how Gujarat was “treated unfairly by the Congress government at the Centre”, but now with Modi at the helm it was like “mausaale maa pirasnar (at the maternal uncle’s place, it is like your mother feeding you)”.
The work of Surat Metro Rail project at an estimated cost of Rs 12,020 crore will be done in two phases. First phase will be from Sarthana to Dream City, covering 21.61 kilometres, and second from Bhesan to Saroli covering 18.74 kilometres. The target deadline is 2024.
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