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PM Modi lays foundation stone for ‘world’s first CNG terminal’ at Bhavnagar, Gujarat

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Bhavnagar, Sep 29: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the "world's first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) terminal" at Bhavnagar in Gujarat on Thursday.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister thanked the people for coming to the event in such a large number despite the warm weather. He said, on one hand, when the country is celebrating 75 years of independence, Bhavnagar has completed 300 years of its establishment. In this journey of 300 years, Bhavnagar has made steady growth and has made its mark as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

This development journey of Bhavnagar will get a new momentum through the projects being launched and planned today. He said that he is of the firm belief that the Rajkot-Jamnagar-Bhavnagar area will soon have the same aura as Surat-Vadodara-Ahmedabad. He said, "Bhavnagar has immense potential in industry, agriculture and business. Today's event is a living example of the efforts of the double-engine government in this direction."

The Prime Minister remarked that Bhavnagar is a district situated on the coast and Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country. But due to the lack of attention to coastal development in the post-independence decades, this vast coastline had become a kind of big challenge for the people.

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Highlighting the work done by the double-engine government, the Prime Minister remarked that in the last two decades, the government has made sincere efforts to make Gujarat's coastline the gateway to India's prosperity. "We have developed many ports in Gujarat, modernized many ports", the Prime Minister added, "New opportunities for employment were created."

The Prime Minister pointed out that Gujarat was the first state in the country to get an LNG terminal and today, Gujarat has three LNG terminals.

Throwing light on the importance of the coastal ecosystem, the Prime Minister remarked that the government has played a key role in developing coastal industries and energy networks for these industries. Fishing harbours were constructed and fish processing was promoted for the benefit of the fishermen's community. Mangrove forests were also developed in the area.

PM Modi also commented that the then government in the Center had said that many lessons can be learnt from Gujarat about how to develop a coastal area. The Prime Minister also said that the government has taken key steps to take aquaculture forward. Remarking on the coastline of Gujarat, the Prime Minister said that it has become a medium of employment for lakhs of people today besides playing a big role in the import and export of the country.

"Today, Gujarat's coastline is emerging as synonymous with renewable energy and the hydrogen ecosystem", he continued, "We have tried to make Saurashtra a centre of energy. Today, whatever be the energy needs of the country, this region is becoming an important hub of that."

The Prime Minister underlined that the port of Bhavnagar will play a big role in building a self-reliant India and create hundreds of new employment opportunities in the state. "There will be an expansion of business related to storage, transportation and logistics", Shri Modi added. Referring to the legacy of the Alang Ship breaking yard, the Prime Minister said that the biggest beneficiary of the Vehicle Scrappage Policy will be Bhavnagar. He also underlined the related opportunities of container building from the scrapped iron.

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Remarking on Lothal being an important centre of our heritage, the Prime Minister said that it is the oldest port in the world and the construction of Lothal Maritime Museum will create a new identity for the place. The Prime Minister also pointed out that work is being carried out at a rapid pace to bring it on the tourism map of the whole world. "Along with Lothal, the eco-tourism circuit in Velavadar National Park is also going to benefit Bhavnagar, especially small businesses", the Prime Minister added.

PM Modi recalled a time when the fishermen of the area had to face life-threatening situations due to a lack of awareness. Recalling the time when the Prime Minister was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he said that a special red basket with several buttons was handed out to the fisherman. In times of an emergency, the fisherman had to press the button to summon the coast guard office for assistance or help.

The Prime Minister further added that subsidies have been provided to the fishermen to improve the condition of their boats. "Along the lines of empowerment of farmers, credit cards were issued to fishermen", PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the changes that have been brought about after the implementation of the Sauni Yojna which began in Rajkot.

Emphasising the relentless progress of the project despite initial cynicism in some quarters, the Prime Minister said "today, the Sauni Yojna is taking Narmada to all the places where it is supposed to go at a meteoric pace".

The Prime Minister highlighted that the projects that have been inaugurated today will take the waters of the Narmada river to many districts of Bhavnagar and Amreli. Shri Modi pointed out that it will immensely benefit the farmers of several villages of Gariadhar, Jesar and Mahuva talukas of Bhavnagar, along with Rajula and Khambha talukas of Amreli district. "Work has also started today to reach hundreds of villages and dozens of cities in Bhavnagar, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Botad, Junagadh, Rajkot and Porbandar districts", the Prime Minister added.

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In concluding the address, the Prime Minister said that supporting those who have been left behind is a commitment of the double-engine government. When the poorest of the poor get resources and dignity, they overpower poverty by the dint of hard work and perseverance. The Prime Minister remarked, "In Gujarat, we often organize Garib Kalyan Melas. During one such program, I handed over a tricycle to a sister here in Bhavnagar. Then that sister told me that I have never driven a tricycle. So give electric tricycle only. This faith and these dreams of the poor are my strength even today. These dreams, these aspirations of the poor give me the energy to work continuously."

The Prime Minister recalled his long association with Bhavnagar and remembered his old associates and went down memory lane. He said that today's projects will contribute to the bright future of Bhavnagar. He thanked the people for their ever-growing affection for him.

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