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Gir-Somnath to be state's new district

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In a bid to woo the fishing community in an election year, Gujarat Chief minister on Monday announced the formation of a new district of 'Gir Somnath' which will be carved out from different talukas of Junagadh district. This will be the 27th district of the state.

Modi made the announcement during a seminar for fishing community held in coastal town of Veraval in Junagadh district. He said that the state government has decided to form a new coastal district of Gir Somnath which will have six talukas. A committee headed by the chief secretary has been assigned the task to complete the necessary formalities. The district is likely to come into existence from January 26, 2013, after the assembly polls.

The Gujarat state came into existence in 1960 with 17 districts. Later in 1964, the capital district Gandhinagar was carved out from some parts of Mehsana and Ahmedabad. Two years later in 1966, Valsad was separated from Surat. In 1997 Anand, Dahod, Narmada, Navsari and Porbandar were formed in after splitting from several other districts. Patan was formed in 2000 and Tapi in 2007, which was the 26th district of the state.

Modi was in Junagadh where the state level celebration of the Independence Day on August 15 will be held. He will remain in Junagadh for the next two days and is scheduled to attend various functions in the district ahead of the Independence Day.

The chief minister also made a slew of announcements that is likely to benefit over 60 lakh fishing community members settled along the coastline of Gujarat, which include Rs 200 crore subsidy in diesel for fishermen to run their motorized fishing boats. The burden of the subsidy would be borne by the state government, and is likely to benefit nearly 11,000 fishermen. Modi further informed that the state government has approved nine new fishing port/harbours in the state. He also announced that per-day assistance to family of every fishermen who is in custody of Pakistan will be increased from Rs 50 to Rs 150.

Modi further announced a scheme of sea weed farming involving 5,000 (SHGs) in coastal areas of Gujarat. This is aimed at generating employment and income among the women of the fishing community.

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