The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, yesterday inaugurated Phase 1 of the RO RO (Roll on, Roll off) ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej. This ferry service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to just over an hour. Phase 1, inaugurated today, enables passenger movement. When fully operationalized, this ferry service will also enable movement of vehicles.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Sarvottam Cattle Feed Plant of Shree Bhavnagar District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd.
Addressing a large gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that he is happy to be in Gujarat to personally convey new year greetings. He said that this programme, for the launch of a ferry between Ghogha and Dahej, is of vital importance for the entire nation. Noting that this ferry service is a first of sorts, the Prime Minister said it is a dream come true for people of Gujarat.
He said that the history of human civilisation illustrates the vitality of rivers and maritime trade. Gujarat is the land of Lothal; how can we forget these aspects of our history, he added. This programme is to bring back to life our glorious past; and connect Saurashtra with South Gujarat, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said that people from these two regions frequently travel to and fro; and this ferry service will save a lot of time, as well as fuel.
The Prime Minister said that in the last three years, a lot of importance has been given to the development of Gujarat. He said Gujarat has a long coastline, and we should harness the opportunities that arise out of this. He said that steps have been taken in developing coastal infrastructure. This ferry service too, he added, would not be restricted to this one route. He said that other places too would be linked through ferries. He said the goal of the Union Government is to make the transport sector integrated, and state-of-the-art.
The Prime Minister travelled on the maiden voyage of this service, from Ghogha to Dahej. During this voyage, he was given a briefing about the ship, and the ferry service. He also interacted with divyangjan children on board the ship.
Addressing a gathering in Dahej, the Prime Minister said that the Government's vision is ports for prosperity. India needs better ports and more ports, he added. Without proper connectivity, the economic development of a nation slows down, he asserted, adding that the Government has focused on port infrastructure.
The Prime Minister mentioned the Government's stress on the blue economy, which he said is integral to the vision of a new India.