As Gujarat waits for poll date, state gets projects worth nearly Rs 12,500 cr
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As Gujarat waits for poll date, state gets projects worth nearly Rs 12,500 cr

Election Commission Of India(ECI), broke away from tradition and did not announce the date for Gujarat elections, along with Himachal Pradesh.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2017 20:38 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat assembly poll,Gujarat elections,Gujarat assembly elections
BJP president Amit Shah flags off ’Gujarat gaurav yatra’ in Karamsad town of Anand district. (HT File Photo)

In the run-up to the assembly election, Gujarat has witnessed announcements and foundation laying of infrastructure and social welfare projects worth at least Rs 12,500 crore in October alone.

And, with breaking away from tradition, when Election Commission Of India(ECI) did not announce Gujarat elections schedule along with Himachal Pradesh, the BJP government here has got window for coming out with more poll doles before model code of conduct gets effective .

Inauguration of Rs 550 crore ferry service , Garib Kalyan Mela(Poor welfare fair) in district like Porbandar where in doles around Rs 1 crore for education bond, housing units, kits for self-employment are in the offering this in the next week. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation was quick as it on Friday itself planned an event for Sunday for Chief Minister Vijay Rupani where projects worth nearly Rs 800 crore to be announced.

The administration is hurriedly planning an event for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inauguration of ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej around next weekend. The sources in the BJP maintained that the party would want this program to be over before elections schedule is out.

This ferry service connecting two shores of Bay of Khambhat, reducing travelling distance between Saurashtra and south-Gujarat, is Rs 550 crore project and has been delayed atleast by 2 years. Instead of earlier date of October 17, it is now likely to be inaugurated on October 23.

While there has been no final word from the PMO over this event, Modi will be in the home state on October 16. He will addressing around 7 lakh party workers in Ahmedabad, along with BJP president Amit Shah. With model code of conduct not in the effect, the administrative machinery still can be employed by the BJP for the event of by the PM for various arrangements.

The Goody Bag
  • Rajkot Greenfield international airport: Rs 1405 crore (Oct 7)
  • Okha-Bet Dwarka four-lane cable-stayed bridge: Rs 962 crore (Oct 7)
  • Four laning of Porbandar-Dwarka: Rs1600 crore (Oct 7, Cabinet nod in May)
  • Four laning of Gadu-Porbandar: Rs 370 crore (Oct 7)
  • Six-laning of NH47 between Ahmedabad-Rajkot- Rs 2893 crore (Oct 7)
  • Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers and chemicals plant Bharuch-Rs 550 (Oct 8)
  • Bhadbhut Barrage over Narmada river Bharuch: Rs 4337 crore (Oct 8)
  • Vadnagar Hospital and medical college: Rs 450 crore (Oct 8)

Hours before the ECI had called press conference on Thursday, the BJP government also announced 1 per cent DA allowance for all the state employees, Rs 3500 bonus for 35000 fixed pay salary employees along with withdrawal of over 130 police cases of rioting and arson against Patidar youths, who are up against the government over the OBC quota.

Earlier, the Rupani government reduced the VAT on fuel by 4 per cent, which will translate into upto Rs 3 in petrol and diesel prices.

Among the big-ticket projects rolled out by the BJP in the last 10 days are Bhadbhut barrage over Narmada river in Bharuch, six-laning of NH47 between Ahmedabad and Rajkot, four-laning of Porbandar-Dwarka highway and an international airport at Rajkot.

The Bhadbhut barrage project, foundation of which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8, is worth Rs 4,337 crore. The second biggest project in terms of cost (Rs 2,893 crore) is widening of the 201km Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway. The foundation of this project was also laid by Modi on October 7.

During his two-day state visit last week, the PM on October 7 also laid the foundation to widen the Porbandar-Dwarka highway at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore. This project was given the go-ahead by the Union Cabinet in May this year. The same day, the foundation of Rs 1,405-crore Rajkot greenfield international airport was laid by Modi.

The foundation of a four-lane cable-stayed bridge between Okha and Bet Dwarka and four-laning of Gadu-Porbandar highway was also laid on October 7. The 2.32-km long bridge will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 962.43 crore while the highway widening project is worth Rs 370 crore.

On October 8, Modi laid the foundation of a hospital-cum-medical college worth Rs 450 crore in his hometown Vadnagar. Later that day, Modi laid the foundation for a Rs 550-crore Di-Calcium Phosphate (DCP) plant at Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd facility in Bharuch.

As the Congress accused BJP of luring people, the BJP called the inauguration spree a continuous development process. ``The projects and schemes announced or to be announced are those which people of Gujarat needed. By calling it poll planks, the Congress is hurting the sentiments of people of Gujarat’’, said BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya.

“Rs 2-4 reduction in fuel prices, 1 per cent hike in DA or bonus for fixed salaried who were demanding permanent job is too late too little. All these planks shows the BJP is nervous following good response that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has received during his Navrsarjan Yatra in the state’’, said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 20:28 IST