Gandhidham: Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said good ports are essential for India's progress as he laid the foundation stone for half a dozen projects worth Rs 993 crore related to development of Kandla Port. Noting that Kandla has emerged as a key port in Asia, PM Modi said once Iran's Chabahar Port is developed with Indian assistance, the maritime facility here will establish itself firmly on the global trade map.
PM Modi also suggested that the Kandla Port Trust (KPT) be named after BJP-RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay as a tribute to him in his birth centenary year. He was addressing a gathering in Kutch district after laying the foundation stone for a slew of developmental projects of KPT. The projects include a convention centre named after Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.
Others are a tow cargo berth at Kandla Port, construction of a road over bridge, deployment of two mobile harbour cranes and mechanisation of fertiliser handling facility. The prime minister praised Mr Gadkari for his initiatives in the shipping and transport sector.
"This is the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. He gave us a new philosophy for uplift of the poor. Today, as the country celebrates his birth centenary, I would like to make a suggestion to the Kandla Port Trust, Nitinji (Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping) and his department - why not name Kandla Port as the Deendayal Port Trust Kandla," he said.
"Deendayal stood for the poor...(so this name change) will inspire us to work for the poor, suppressed section of society," he said.
PM Modi said sound infrastructure and efficiency are vital pillars of economic growth, and if the country has to progress, it must have good ports.
"Economists are surprised at the rapid growth of Kandla Port. Those working at the port have realised that if they upgrade it in terms of infrastructure and efficiency, it can make greater contribution to the country's growth."
Recalling an episode from Ramayan, he said once Chabahar Port is developed, Iranian cargo can come directly here and Kandla Port will establish itself in the world trade like 'Angad', a character in the epic known for his strength.
"Cargo from Iran will directly come to Kandla Port, and with the two ports joining hands, Kandla will establish itself in the world trade like Angad," PM Modi said.
PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, his home state where assembly polls are due by the year-end, in which the BJP has high stakes in retaining power. This was Mr Modi's third visit to Gujarat this year. On April 7, he had visited Botad to inaugurate the phase II of the state government's ambitious Sauni irrigation project. On March 8, he had visited Gandhinagar to address women sarpanches on the International Women's Day.