Narendra Modi to begin two-day visit to Gujarat tomorrow; will inaugurate seaplane service, visit Statue of Unity

In a slight change in the original schedule, Modi is expected to visit the family of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Thursday

Press Trust of India October 29, 2020 22:11:01 IST
Narendra Modi to begin two-day visit to Gujarat tomorrow; will inaugurate seaplane service, visit Statue of Unity

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Ahmedabad on Friday morning on a two-day Gujarat visit during which he is scheduled to launch a host of projects, including the famed seaplane service between Kevadiya and Ahmedabad, said an official on Thursday.

In a slight change in the original schedule, Modi is expected to visit the grieving family of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel in Gandhinagar after his arrival at the Ahmedabad airport.

The 92-year-old BJP stalwart died on Thursday morning due to prolonged illness. Modi paid rich tributes to Patel through a series of tweets and said the veteran leader had mentored and groomed many younger workers, including him.

"Our family has been informed that PM Modi would come to our residence in Gandhinagar on Friday morning to share our pain," said Keshubhai Patel's son, BJP leader Bharat Patel.

Modi will then leave for Kevadiya in Narmada district.

This will be Modi's first visit to his home state since the coronavirus outbreak in Gujarat in March-end. According to the official, Modi will take a helicopter ride from the Ahmedabad airport to reach Kevadiya.

During his trip, Modi will also pay tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the 'Statue of Unity' near Kevadiya on the occasion of birth anniversary of the first home minister of Independent India on 31 October, said the official.

Modi will arrive at Kevadiya on the afternoon of 30 October, he said. He will first inaugurate the Sardar Patel Zoological Park, popularly known as Jungle Safari, developed near the 182-metre tall "Statue of Unity" which is dedicated to the "Iron Man" of India.

The zoo houses wild animals and birds brought from all over the world.

Later, Modi will inaugurate a boat service which would operate in the Narmada river between the statue and Shreshth Bharat Bhavan, around four kilometres away, according to the schedule.

He is expected to take a boat ride after inauguration of the service, the official said.

Modi will then inaugurate Ekta Mall near the statue where tourists can buy handicraft items brought from all over the country, he said.

Other new attractions at the site which will be inaugurated include Children Nutrition Park and Unity Glow Garden.

Around 30 lakh LED lights have been used to illuminate the garden during the night for tourists.

In the night, Modi will inaugurate the illuminated Cactus Garden and Ekta Nursery. The official said Modi will stay overnight at Kevadiya.

On the morning of 31 October, Modi will first visit the Statue of Unity to pay floral tributes to Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary, he said.

On the occasion, a parade, named Ekta Diwas Parade, by Central Armed Police Forces and the Gujarat police will also be organised in Modi's presence, the official said.

After speaking at the parade ground near the statue, Modi will interact with civil service probationers, also called Officer Trainees (OTs), through video conferencing, he said.

These trainee IAS officers will join Modi from the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie (Uttarakhand).

"The Academy is gearing up for Aarmabh 2020 in which a galaxy of thought leaders are sharing their views on India @100, culminating in the PM's interaction with OTs from the Statue of Unity on 31st October, the birthday of Sardar Patel, the Patron Saint of Indian civil services," Academy Director Sanjeev Chopra had tweeted earlier.

Later in the afternoon, Modi will launch the famed seaplane service connecting Kevadiya and Ahmedabad. A water aerodrome having a floating platform has been built in a lake near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, said the official.

He will board a seaplane from the lake and reach the Sabarmati Riverfront. He will then wind up his visit and leave for New Delhi, said the official.

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