Ahmedabad, Oct. 22: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched his dream project ‘Roll on, Roll off’ ferry services in Gogha district, Gujarat. Modi termed it as ‘one of its kind’ project in not only India but in South Asia too. The ferry service will reduce the distance between Gogha and Dahej from 310 kms to 30 kms.
Attacking the previous Congress-led UPA government, Modi said he had faced hostilities from the Centre while he was working on the project during his tenure as the Gujarat Chief Minister. “The previous government ensured the ferry service could not be launched. It had asked operators to build terminals. Please tell me, have you ever heard this! It is like asking people to build roads if they want to drive their trucks. Our government changed this condition and took the responsibility of construction of terminals,” Modi said.
He added that the project will bring back the glorious days to the region which has a unique history of sea trade. Emphasising on the benefits, Modi said a study suggested that if carrying luggage costs Re 1 to a trader via roads, it is reduced to 20-25 paise by opting sea route.
The ferry service will hugely benefit people working in the diamond-cutting and polishing hub of Surat.
Modi said the project will be extended to other parts of the state in its second phase.
History of the project
The idea of the ferry service was first conceived in early 1960s. The foundation stone for current works was laid by Modi in 2012 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
When operational, the service is expected to reduce the travel distance between Saurashtra, located in the western region of the state and South Gujarat by 360 km, saving time and money for people frequently travelling between the two regions.
People to get benefits
The facility will also reduce travel time by at least five hours. Many working in the diamond cutting and polishing hub of Surat in South Gujarat belong to the Saurashtra region and the service is expected to come as a boon for them.
In the first phase, only passenger services would travel, while after the completion of the second phase, light vehicles can also be carried aboard the ferries.
Official sources claim that the second phase will be commissioned by the end of January 2018. In the final phase, the ferries would also have the facility to carry trucks between the two regions.
INDIA.COM With inputs from agencies