Modi recounts Kutch’s post-earthquake development, which became the flagbearer of Gujarat’s economic growth
Ahmedabad, Aug 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday walked down the memory lane recounting the horrors of Kutch earthquake and the development that followed since 2001 for the desert district, which became the flagbearer of Gujarat’s development.
The Kutch’s post-earthquake development corresponded with Modi at the helm of affairs – first as the Gujarat’s Chief Minister and then the Prime Minister.
Momentum to Gujarat’s development
Addressing a large gathering at Bhuj after launching projects worth ₹4,400 crore, Modi showcased the successes of his policies relating to industries, disaster, healthcare and education that transformed the district, which according to him, “gave a new momentum to the economic development of Gujarat.” His home state is going to the polls in December this year, with the ruling party eyeing for a continuation.
Modi recounted the earthquake day of January 26, when he was in Delhi and rushing back to Kutch, the next day.
“I wasn’t a chief minister then. I was just an ordinary worker of the Bhartiya Janata Party. I had resolved to be amongst you in that painful situation. Soon, I was made the Chief Minister,” he told the gathering after inaugurating the Smriti Van Earthquake Memorial in Bhuj, which he compared with the 9/11 memorial the US and Hiroshima Memorial in Japan.
“There were many who said Kutch would never be back on its feet again. I remember having said in those difficult days, with full confidence that we would convert this adversity into opportunity. Today Kutch’s people have completely transformed it.” he said.
Modi took the reins of Gujarat as the Chief Minister in October 2001. Fresh from the earthquake experience, he had crafted State’s policies to provide impetus to the industrial and social development.
“Gujarat was the first State to bring a disaster management act in the country. This act guided the creation of the national act. And during the Covid times, this act came handy to the administration,” Modi said.
Under Modi, Gujarat brought new policies that chose a path of new industrial development, where Kutch became the biggest beneficiary.
“Today, Kutch has the world’s largest cement plants. In welded-pipe production, Kutch ranks second globally. The world’s second-largest textile plant is in Kutch. Also, Asia’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was set up in Kutch,” Modi said crediting the district for significant contribution in the country’s development.
“Kandla and Mundra ports, collectively handle 30 per cent of country’s (shipping) cargo. Over 30 per cent of India’s salt is produced in Kutch,” he said. “The dream that we saw for Kutch during 2001-02 in those adverse situations, is now a reality front of your eyes,” he said adding that a same aspirational dream he harbours about India becoming a developed country by 2047 – the centenary year of India’s Independence.
In the clean energy movement, when Gujarat emerges as a key player in green hydrogen, Modi stated that Kutch will have a big contribution in it.
On social infrastructure, Modi showcased Kutch’s achievements after getting completely destroyed. Since then, Modi said, Kutch has added over 35 colleges, a university, over 1,000 new schools, a revamped earthquake resistant district hospital and Narmada water for every household. Kutch tops in Gujarat in production of fruits like green dates, Kesar mango, pomegranate, Kamalam (dragon fruit) etc getting recognised globally.
In animal husbandry, Kutch has achieved big successes with Sarhad dairy’s milk collection growing three times to about 5 lakh litres per day. Modi also inaugurated New Automatic Milk Processing and Packing Plant of the Dairy.
Later in the day, the Prime Minister will participate in the commemoration of 40 years of Maruti Suzuki in India at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stones of two key projects of the Suzuki group in India – the ₹7,500-crore Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Facility at Hansalpur, Gujarat and a vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda, Haryana with an investment of ₹11,000 crore.
August 29, 2022