Prime Minister Narendra Modi being garlanded at foundation-laying ceremony of a bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka in Dwarka, Gujarat on Saturday. The PM is on a two-day visit to his home state. Image: PMOIndia/Twitter
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone of a four-lane cable-stayed bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka and said it was a link between old and new Dwarka.
The 2.32 km bridge, including 900 metres of central double span cable-stayed portion, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 962.43 crore.
"There were lots of possibilities of development in the tourism sector here, but earlier the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government had an indifferent attitude towards Gujarat because of the BJP
(Bharatiya Janata Party) government in the state... I clearly remember," Modi said at a public gathering, referring to his days as Gujarat chief minister.
"When Madhavsinh Solanki ji was CM, I recall front page advertisements for the CM coming to Jamnagar to inaugurate a water tank. This is how narrow their conception of development was. We have come a long way since then and are looking at more all round and extensive progress," the PM said.
Terming the bridge a link between the old and new Dwarka, he said it would benefit the people of Beyt (island) Dwarka and devotees.
The prime minister is on a two-day visit to the state, beginning on Saturday.
Speaking on the decisions taken by Goods and Services Tax Council on Friday, the PM said, "Diwali has come early for our citizens due to the decisions taken in the GST Council. We had said we will study all aspects relating to GST for three months, including the shortcomings. And thus, the decisions were taken with consensus at the GST Council."
"When there is trust in a government and when policies are made with best intentions, it is natural for people to support us for the best interests of the nation.
"The common citizen of India wants the fruits of development to reach him or her. Nobody wants their children to live in poverty. We want to help our people fulfil that dream and want to fight poverty," he said.
The four-lane 27.20 metre wide bridge will have 2.50 metre wide footpaths on each side. Solar panels installed on the roof of footpath will produce 1 MW power for street lights on the bridge, officials said.
At present, devotees visiting the Shri Dwarkadhishji temple at Beyt Dwarka can travel only during the day by ferry.
Once the bridge is constructed, they can travel any time of the day.
Modi, who arrived in Gujarat on Saturday morning, offered prayers at the famous Dwarkadhish temple.
After visiting the temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the prime minister came out and waved at people waiting outside to greet him. He also shook hands with some of them.
He is also scheduled to visit his birthplace Vadnagar for the first time after becoming prime minister.
Other projects for which foundation stones will be laid include the four-laning of 116.24 km of the Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 and the four-laning of 93.56 km of the Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51.
From Dwarka, Modi will go to Hirasar in Rajkot district where he will lay the foundation stone for a greenfield airport, 20 km from Rajkot city.