- PM Modi unveiled Rs 6,000 crore petrochemical complex in Kochi
- He also launched other developmental projects in poll-bound state
- Centre, state working together on several projects: Pinarayi Vijayan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled projects of around Rs 6,000 crore in Kerala including a petrochemical complex and ferries for inland waterways at Willingdon Islands, asserting that these projects will energise India's growth trajectory and tourism.
PM Modi and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan shared the stage and namastes at the event in Kochi - a significant moment ahead of the state assembly elections expected soon.
Besides inaugurating the projects, PM Modi also made considerable references in his speech to Indians working in the Gulf countries - a sizeable vote bank in Kerala.
"Indians working in Gulf countries must know that they have the full support of this government to ensure their welfare," he said, listing the efforts made by the governments of these countries based on his "personal requests".
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan spoke of "cooperative federalism" and how the centre and Kerala government worked on these projects together.
"This is a happy occasion for us Keralites. A handful of projects are coming to life in our state today. While some are being dedicated to the nation, the foundation stone is being laid for others. Both state and central government are working together in all these projects," he said.
Among the projects that the Prime Minister inaugurated was the Cochin Port Trust's International Cruise Terminal and Cochin Shipyard's Vigyana Sagar, a campus for Marine Engineering Training Institute.
At the function, he laid the foundation stone of Cochin Port Trust's South Coal Berth and said these projects covered a wide range of sectors and will boost India's growth.
Referring to Bharat Petroleum's Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) located close to its Kochi Refinery that will produce Acrylic Acid, Oxo-Alcohol and Acrylates, which are predominantly imported, at present, he said it would save considerable foreign exchange every year.
Besides, a wide range of industries would benefit, and employment opportunities will be generated, he said.
The two new roll-on/roll-off vessels, set up between Bolgatty and Willingdon Island on National Waterway-3, will have the capacity to carry six 20-feet trucks, three 20-feet trailer trucks, three 40-feet trailer trucks and 30 passengers each.
The service, operated by the Inland Waterways Authority, will benefit trade as a result of reduced transportation cost and transit time, and will also lead to reduced congestion on the roads of Kochi, it was stated.
While making repeated mentions of tourism, the PM also encouraged the youth working on start-ups to travel and explore ventures that would encourage tourism. The recent central government budget had been criticised by Kerala's tourism industry for not addressing its desperate needs amid a pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies)