Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid foundation for and inaugurated development works worth Rs 21,000 crore, including railway projects, at an event held at the at Leprosy Ground here.
Before reaching the stage, the Prime Minister took a tour of the venue in an open jeep, warmly greeting the large gathering present there.
Earlier in the morning, Modi met his mother Heeraben, who entered the 100th year of her life on Saturday, and took her blessings at her residence near Gandhinagar. Modi arrived at Raysan village on the outskirts of Gandhinagar at around 6.30 am and spent around half an hour there.
At the event in Vadodara, Modi said, "Today is the day of 'Matruvandana' for me, and I am happy to be here inauguarating development works worth Rs 21,000 crore. These projects will accelerate the development of India along with Gujarat. Such huge investment and better connectivity will accelerate industrial development in Gujarat besides opening up more employment opportunities for the youth."
The Prime Minister also said that Vadodara has nurtured him just like a mother takes care of her child.
The Prime Minister then dedicated to the nation and laid foundation stone for various Railway projects worth over Rs 16,000 crore. These include 357 km New Palanpur-Madar section of dedicated freight corridor; gauge conversion of 166 Km Ahmedabad-Botad section; and electrification of 81 Km Palanpur-Mitha section, among others.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for redevelopment of Surat, Udhna, Somnath and Sabarmati railway stations, along with other initiatives in the railway sector. These projects will help lower logistic costs and boost the industry and agriculture sector in the region. They will also improve connectivity in the region and enhance passenger amenities.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a total of 1.38 lakh houses will be dedicated by the Prime Minister, including houses worth around Rs 1,800 crore in the urban areas and houses worth over Rs 1,530 crore in the rural areas.
During the programme, the Prime Minister dedicated and laid foundation stone for various development works at Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur and Panchmahal, worth over Rs 680 crore, which are aimed at furthering ease of living in the region.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for Gujarat Central University at Kundhela village in Dabhoi taluka. Located about 20 km from Vadodara, the university will be constructed at a cost of around Rs 425 crore and will cater to higher education needs of over 2,500 students.
With a focus on improving maternal and child health, the Prime Minister launched the 'Mukhyamantri Matrushakti Yojana', which will have an outlay of Rs 800 crore. Under the scheme, pregnant and lactating mothers will be given 2 kg chickpea, 1 kg tur dal and 1 kg edible oil free of cost from the Anganwadi centres every month.
Modi also dispersed around Rs 120 crore towards the 'Poshan Sudha Yojana', which is now being extended to all tribal beneficiaries in the state. This step has been taken after the success of the experiment of providing iron and calcium tablets and education on nutrition to pregnant and lactating mothers from the tribal districts.