Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to arrive here on Sunday, his third visit to the poll-bound state, to inaugurate the first phase of the the Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service between Saurashtra and the South Gujarat region.
Upon his arrival here, Modi will fly down to Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district where he would inaugurate the Rs 615 crore, 31km “roll-on, roll-off” (Ro-Ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch district across the Gulf of Khambhat.
He is expected to travel aboard the Ro-Ro ferry accompanied by school children.
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, locate 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.
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 begin, 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 facility to carry trucks between the two regions.
After his arrival at Dahej, Modi will travel to Vadodara to address a public rally at the sprawling Navlakhi Grounds.
He is slated to lay foundation stones and inaugurate projects worth Rs 1,140 crore in Vadodara before taking out a 14km road show to the Vadodara airport, and then fly off to New Delhi.