Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Kevadia-Sabarmati water aerodromes and the seaplane service connecting two key projects in Gujarat. The event marked the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Deputy Prime Minister of India, observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
The service covers the 200km distance between the Sabarmati Rover Front in Ahmedabad and Kevadia, bringing down the travel time from the usual four hours by road to 45 minutes by flight.
The SpiceJet aircraft that he flew in today on the seaplane's inaugural flight carried the logo of PM Modi's Make In India scheme. The tickets reportedly cost a minimum of Rs1,400, with two incoming and two outgoing flights operating every day.
Those using the service can expect a spectacular view of Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity at Kevadia.
On Saturday, the seaplane's flagging-off flight was witnessed by Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Gujarat to mark the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. Earlier in the day, he witnessed a paramilitary parade at the Statue of Unity and spoke in length about the need to safeguard the country's integrity and sovereignty.
On Friday, he launched the Ekta Mall, a special store constructed near the Statue of Unity, where tourists can buy handloom and handicraft products belonging to various states under one roof. He also inaugurated the 17-acre Arogya Van, a botanical garden with a variety of herbs and medicinal plants.
On the second leg of his visit today, he participated in a number of other public functions in Gujarat.