You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Narendra Modi calls for ‘blue revolution’ along India’s coastline

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-03-2017 Maulik Pathak

Ahmedabad: The government will usher in a ‘blue revolution’ by developing India’s coastal regions and working for the welfare of fishing communities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after unveiling a string of infrastructure projects.

He also announced plans to develop a smart city around Kandla port in Gujarat, one of the 12 major ports in India that will each get a smart city around them.

Addressing a public meeting in the pilgrim town of Somnath, Modi, who was on a two-day visit to his home state, said that a smart city spread over about 1,400 acres will be developed at Kandla that will create employment for about 50,000 people. “The country’s vast coast can bring in a revolution. The government’s Sagarmala project is an initiative in this direction and it will attract investment to the tune of Rs8 lakh crore. It will create industrial and tourism development along coastal line,” Modi told a public gathering after performing a special puja at Somnath temple, where he is a trustee.

ALSO READ | India ready to compete with the world: PM Narendra Modi

Modi said that about 400 ports and fishing sites will be developed under Sagarmala.

“This will include 40 port projects from Gujarat which will be developed for an investment of about Rs45,000 crore,” the PM said.

The central government, he said, is working on a plan to help fishermen buy fishing boats at 50% subsidized rates.

“Five poor fishermen can form a co-operative and avail 50% subsidy and Rs1 crore loan from Mudra scheme. Fishermen can buy a fishing trawler with cold storage facility and increase their income,” he said.

Talking about the success of government-controlled Kandla port, which is the country’s largest major port, Modi said that the port had achieved a cargo handling capacity of 100 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 2015-2016 and this year it will handle 110 MTPA of cargo.

His two-day visit beginning Tuesday is the seventh since promising in September to visit his home state more often and comes ahead of assembly elections due by end of 2017. The Bharatiya Janata Party government has received some serious jolts to its socio-political-economic base in the state in the last two years.

ALSO READ | Environment ministry launches website for obtaining coastal clearances

On Tuesday, Modi unveiled infrastructure projects including a Rs30,000 crore petrochemical complex at Dahej being built by ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPAL). Among other projects, Modi had also announced the centre’s decision to convert eight state highways in Gujarat into national highways for an overall investment of Rs12,000 crore.

Later in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, Modi addressed a women’s day event attended by over 8,000 women sarpanchs from across the country. Modi told them they had shattered many myths, and shown how a positive change has begun in rural India. Sarpanchs have contributed immensely to the movement for a Clean India, he added.

Talking about the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” initiative, he said villages with women sarpanchs can play a key role in the drive to end female foeticide.

He said a discriminatory mindset is not acceptable and that girls should get equal access to education.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon