Somewhere in Maharashtra....

Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kolkata, the Indian Navy's largest destroyer, in Mumbai on Saturday and later laid the foundation stones of the Rs.4,000-crore port-based multi-product SEZ and the Rs.1,900-crore port connectivity highway project at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Raigad district.
The JNPT SEZ will come up on 277 hectares of land near the port as a self-sustainable integrated development project with a potential to generate around 150,000 jobs. The Union shipping ministry plans to execute the project in the engineering, procurement and construction mode through a special purpose vehicle. The project is part of the central government's National Highway Development & Port Connectivity Programme.
His sights firmly set on the state assembly elections, Modi said the SEZs could provide employment to local youths, preventing migration. The prime minister said the “Sagarmala“ project for maritime states would not merely mean development of ports, but port-led development. Union minister of shipping, road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari said the Konkan would drive future growth and assured priority to “bhoomiputras“ in employment in the SEZ.
Prime minister Narendra Modi virtually kicked off the BJP's campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly elections during his visit to Mumbai on Saturday , with a touch of Marathi, several references to Shivaji and a lineup of major projects guaranteed to generate employment in the state.
The foundation stone-laying ceremonies of the Rs.4,000crore port-based multi-product SEZ and its major component, the Rs 1,900-crore Port Connectivity Highway Project, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Raigad district, also gave the PM opportunity for a verbal duel with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The CM, who spoke before Modi, said 23 of the 146 SEZ applicants in the state abandoned plans due to unfavourable policies, adding lack of taxation clarity, especially dividend distribution tax, was a key hindrance, requesting the Centre to bring necessary policy changes. Modi in a repartee, wondered why the state government was unable to persuade the UPA government to effect these changes.
Both at JNPT and at the Naval Dockyard for the commissioning of the Indian Navy's 7,500-tonne destroyer, INS Kolkata, Modi invoked Chhatrapati Shivaji. Addressing members on the dais at JNPT in Marathi, he followed it with: “My first public programme in Maharashtra is from the land of Shivaji, in Raigad district.“ At the Naval Dockyard he said being in Maharashtra and talking of the Navy , one had to remember the Maratha king Shivaji, who conceived the navy to secure India's maritime trade.
Pointing out that the Indian Ocean accounted for two-thirds of the oil trade and 50% of global container traffic, Modi said growth centres should be integrated, with ports as catalysts and highlighted the `Sagarmala' project. Emphasizing the need for shipbuilding, Modi said, “South Korea is smaller than Maharashtra, but accounts for 40% of shipbuilding in the world. We need to increase activity as there is great employment potential.“
Union minister of shipping, road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari announced JNPT will build three satellite ports to further integrate trade: one at Surat and two dry ports at Aurangabad and Wardha (where cargo will be moved by train). Gadkari said cargo worth Rs.16,000 crore from or to Marathwada passes through JNPT, while goods over Rs.8,500 crore come through Nagpur annually .

Earlier, commissioning the indigenously designed warship INS Kolkata at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Modi said, “No country will dare a war with India after witnessing its growing defence capabilities“. INS Kolkata, the largest destroyer to be operated by the Navy , was built at Mazagon Dock Ltd and incorporates modern weapons.

The Congress-led DF government is also in election mode....

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