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Three visits in two weeks: PM Modi launches a slew of schemes in poll-bound Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited his home state Gujarat three times this month, and five times since September, announcing a flurry of schemes for the poll-bound state. The Election Commission, which announced dates for Himachal Assembly elections on October 12, skipped doing so for Gujarat, inviting criticism from the Congress. Till the time the poll dates are not announced, the model code of conduct will not come into force, thereby allowing governments in the state and the Centre to announce populist schemes.
Here is a look at all the announcements made by the prime minister during the three visits.
October 7-8
PM Modi visited Gujarat on October 7-8. During the first visit this month, PM Modi laid the foundation stones of a bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka along with other road development projects. He also laid the foundation stones for a greenfield airport in Rajkot, announced six-laning of the Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway, four-laning of the Rajkot-Morbi state highway. He also ‘dedicated’ a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant along with a drinking water distribution pipeline for Surendranagar’s Ratanpur area and Joravarnagar.
He launched the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)–an e-learning, e-healthcare, knowledge-sharing, digital payments and livelihood generation initiative for citizens living in rural areas. He also inaugurated the new building of IIT Gandhinagar on its campus. Moving focus to healthcare announcements, he launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush–a full-spectrum immunisation program and also distributed e-tablets to healthcare workers.
This also marked the launch of ImTeCHO (Innovative mobile-phone Technology for Community Health Operations). This ImTeCHO was also a play on the Gujarati word TeCHO that means support, hence “IamTeCHO” or “I am support”. IamTeCHO was aimed to empower ASHA workers and to improve maternal, neonatal and paediatric care.
He then laid the foundation stone for Bhadbhut Barrage that will be constructed over the river Narmada and also flagged off the Antyodaya Express from Surat to Jaynagar in Bihar.
October 16
Although the visit didn’t see the prime minister launch any new schemes, it was for a massive show of strength as he addressed lakhs of BJP workers from across Gujarat at an event near Gandhinagar.
October 22
In his third visit to Gujarat in October and fifth since September, PM Modi returned to gifting projects to the state. He inaugurated the first phase of his “dream project”–the Rs 615 crore roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Bharuch’s Dahej along the Gulf of Cambay. He also announced a maritime university and maritime museum to be set up in the region to boost coastal development.
In Vadodara, he announced the Rs 100 crore city command and control centre in Badamadi Garden, the Rs 125 crore Janmahal City transport hub-cum-multi-level parking, multi-modal city transport hub project worth Rs 160 crore and a waste-to-energy waste processing plant worth Rs 267 crore.
Other announcements included a Rs 55 crore deer safari project, Rs 6 crore veterinary hospital, two flyovers at a cost of Rs 265 crore and a Rs 166 crore water treatment plant. He laid the foundation stone for capacity expansion project for the Delhi-Mundra petroleum product pipeline as well as HPCL’s greenfield marketing terminal in Vadodara.

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