Today, on August 15th, we implement a programme that may leave several doctors of the city with no other option but compel them to discontinue their practice. With the coming up of Sabarmati Riverfront, health of people residing in the city will improve. Friends! Opening of the walkway for people is the first step towards implementation of the riverfront project and even before its inauguration, it the project has bagged more than half a dozen national and international awards!
Ladies and gentlemen! I would talk about two projects. We asked for money from the World Bank for Narmada project and it refused stating that the project was not environment friendly, and would harm environment.
Our opponents raised such a hue and cry about it and I decided there and then that no matter what, Gujarat will show its mettle to the world.I wanted to show to the World Bank that Indians do care for environment and are environment-friendly. Gujarat will make you surrender before our conditions! This was not just a statement but a collective decision by the Gujarat government!
And thus when the buildings, damaged from the devastating earthquake of 2001, were erected once again, Gujarat received ‘Green Award’ for the same. It is the greatest award to be given by the World Bank to anyone in the field of environment. Friends! This way we showed the World Bank that what ‘environment and Green Movement’ means to us.
Before the face-lift, Sabarmati Riverfront area was a living place for many slum-dwellers. There were thousands of shanties in the area and it had become a den for several illegal activities. Relocation had to be carried out to make riverfront what it is today. Survey was done quietly and the required details were collected. Our friends from the Congress, as usual, didn’t let this happen without creating trouble. So they not only dragged media into this but also went to the court to create as many obstacles as they possibly could. They approached the court a dozen times to bring the stay order so that the construction of riverfront can be halted. They also tried to impede the allotment of the houses by raising unusual demands. Thousands of houses were built and the Congressmen made huge uproar about it. The opposition went to such an extent that they filed a petition citing that these houses were not suitable for living. Friends imagine our plight! We decided to provide flats to the people residing in slums, but still had to go to court! Here in our state, the Congress people went to the court and tried to get in our way. While all this is happening, on the other hand HUDCO, an agency of the same Congress government in Delhi, gives us award for providing the best facilities of housing and rehabilitation to the poor slum dwellers after they were evicted from the riverfront area. It has now become a necessity to know and be wary of the Congress and its activities.
Ladies and gentlemen! I was listening to the Prime Minister’s speech this morning. It is considered normal to not feel very enthusiastic about listening to someone who speaks everyday. Well when our Prime Ministerji were speaking, it was a big moment for me. Though I was in Junagadh, I switched on the TV specially to listen to his speech. He was reading the speech that was not written in Hindi, but Gurumukhi script and Prime Ministerji was reading in Hindi! How did I get to know the speech was written in Gurumukhi? As the PM turned the first page, I noticed that he was reading from back and that confirmed the language wasn’t Hindi. Hindi is read from left to right. It is only with languages Urdu and Gurumukhi that you have to read from right to left. Friends, Dr. Manmohan Singhji is leader of the Congress party and UPA Government has made him the Prime Minister. He said in his address that there is a need to bring industries and foreign investment to India and that improvement in infrastructure is also needed. As all this will lead to increase in employment in the country. His Congressmen however, in Gujarat tell a different story altogether. They featured in an advertisement that conveyed a different message. While on one hand the PMji says industries should be set up; development should happen and energy production should take place, on the other hand, the Gujarat Congressmen say they don’t want roads, industries and that they are satisfied even with half a piece of bread. Friends, it seems Congress wants to drag India back to 18th century. I would want to know from you—do you want to go back in time? Congressmen are saying they don’t want road, industries, electricity, colleges and universities for our children’s education! A half a piece of bread is sufficient for them! This is what they have been preaching us for the past 60 years! I congratulate the brains behind these ads as it is because of such ads that we were made aware of the true colours of the Congress! You just can’t think beyond this and the government in Delhi has a responsibility to save Indians and particularly poor from the perils of inflation and unemployment. The government in Delhi do not control price-rise and had made a promise to the people of the country to take complete control of inflation within 100 days! The poor of Gujarat and India are asking the government in Delhi to control the prise rise. Friends! They want answer to this but the government seems least interested in getting back to them on this.
Ladies and gentlemen! Today on August 15th the walkway at Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad has been thrown open to the public. I wish everyone utilises it for their own health benefits. Also peple of Ahmedabad have kept my honour by making use of Kankaria in an appropriate way. I had asked the people to keep Kankaria clean and that no damage should be reported from there. Ladies and gentlemen! It has been nearly five years since kankaria has been renovated and I feel good to share that people have kept Kankaria clean and no damage has been reported till date. There is no trace of litter to be found anywhere.
Gentlemen! We have to keep riverfront cleaner than our houses. Once the citizens decide to keep it dirt-free, it is beyond the capacity of anyone to spoil it! If the citizens of this city and state decide to keep their surroundings clean, then no one can stop them from keeping it spick and span. It is our city’s property and whatever we are trying to do to keep the riverfront clean in a way is in a way helping our country at large. After all Sabarmati riverfront project is first such project in India.
In the coming days, we are going to bring such buses into service that if you don’t want to travel by bus, then you have an option of travelling from one end to another end by an aquatic bus! Friends! We are going to start as many means of transportation as possible. Once I had told Asitbhai to organise ‘Facebook Photography Competiton’ to attract youngsters and I can see how the youth today is participating in the competition. The competition is being talked about so much by the youth and its publicity has also been done at a very large scale! Today if there is any project that is being eyed maximum by the social media, it is Sabarmati riverfront project. I also told the authorities to display the best weekly Facebook photograph in the exhibition; also display the best photo of the month and lastly display the best photo of the year. The youth who clicks the best photo of the year will get a car as a prize— a car worth Rs6.5 lakh! Just click a photo from mobile and mail it as this is the most economical way. No need to get a printout and get into more complexities! Your friends would see it; share it and like it! We all know Facebook is everywhere these days. I am sure riverfront project has the potential of becoming a world-famous project.
Ladies and gentlemen! Such projects instill new vitality to the city and its life. Billions of rupees have been spent on the citizens. The next generation will also reap its benefits. Friends we have already accomplished the herculean task of bringing Gujarat at the forefront of everything. Today for the riverfront project, things had to start afresh and from the scratch. Now after putting all the hard work and achieving whatever we have today, on August 15th with my good wishes to everyone, I ask all of you to speak with me — Bharat Mata Ki Jai!!!