New Delhi: Prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flagged off the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat through video conferencing. He also renamed the ministry of shipping as the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said on Sunday, people of Gujarat have got their Diwali gift. Everyone will benefit from this better connectivity.  He added that business will be boosted and connectivity will become faster.

He further said RO-PAX service between Hazira and Ghogha has made dreams come true for the people of Saurashtra and South Gujarat, as the journey is shortened from 10-12 hours to 3-4 hours. He said this will save time and expenses will also be reduced. He said about 80000 passenger trains and 30000 trucks will be able to take advantage of this new service in a year.

Modi also said better connectivity between Saurashtra and Surat is going to change the life of the people in these regions. He added fruits, vegetables and milk can now easily be transported and pollution will also be reduced due to this service. He thanked all those engineers, workers, who remained courageous to develop the facility amidst a lot of challenges. He wished the people for this new maritime connectivity established between Bhavnagar and Surat.

The prime minister lauded the way Gujarat realized its maritime potential in the last two decades and gave priority to port led development and said it is a matter of pride for every Gujarati. He listed the initiatives of the State government in developing the maritime potential of the State like drafting a Shipbuilding Policy, construction of Shipbuilding Park and Specialized Terminals, promotion of Vessel Traffic Management system and Ground Breaking Connectivity project. He said with these initiatives the port sector has got a new direction. He stressed that efforts were made to modernize the entire ecosystem of the coastal area in addition to developing the physical infrastructure.

The prime minister said the government is making efforts to restart the ferry service between Ghogha-Dahej very soon. He said many natural challenges have arisen in this project and efforts are being made to remove them through modern technology.

The Prime Minister renamed the ministry of shipping as the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways. He said in most of the developed countries the ministry of shipping handles ports and waterways. He added now with more clarity in name, there will be more clarity in the work.