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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of a four-lane cable-stayed bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka and said it was a link between old and new Dwarka. The 2.32 km bridge, including 900 metres of central double span cable-stayed portion, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 962.43 crore. "There were lots of possibilities of development in the tourism sector here, but earlier the UPA government had an indifferent attitude towards Gujarat because of the BJP government in the state... I clearly remember," Modi said at a public gathering, referring to his days as Gujarat chief minister. Terming the bridge a link between the old and new Dwarka, he said it would benefit the people of Beyt (island) Dwarka and devotees. The prime minister is on a two-day visit to the state, beginning today. The four-lane 27.20 metre wide bridge will have 2.50 metre wide footpaths on each side. Solar panels installed on the roof of footpath will produce 1 MW power for street lights on the bridge, officials said. At present, devotees visiting the Shri Dwarkadhishji temple at Beyt Dwarka can travel only during the day by ferry. Once the bridge is constructed, they can travel any time of the day. Here are highlights of his speech: * Marine policing is a sector we are looking at very closely. We are modernising marine security apparatus. An institute for this will be set up in this Devbhoomi of Dwarka. It will draw people and experts from all over India: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * Diwali has come early for our citizens due to the decisions taken in the GST Council. We had said we will study all aspects relating to GST for 3 months, including the shortcomings. And thus, the decisions were taken with consensus at the GST council: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * When there is trust in a government and when policies are made with best intentions, it is natural for people to support us for the best interests of the nation: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * The common citizen of India wants the fruits of development to reach him or her. Nobody wants their children to live in poverty. We want to help our people fulfil that dream and want to fight poverty: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * The world's attention is being drawn to India. People are coming to invest here. All this will bring opportunities for the people of India.* The government of India is taking steps towards the empowerment of fishermen. We do not want our fishermen to live in poverty, we want to create more opportunities for them: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * We want development of ports and port-led development. The blue economy should help further the progress of India: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * When Madhavsinh Solanki ji was CM, I recall front page advertisements for the CM coming to Jamnagar to inaugurate a water tank. This is how narrow their conception of development was. We have come a long way since then & are looking at more all round & extensive progress: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * Kandla Port is seeing unprecedented growth. This is because we devoted resources to improve the port. New lease of life was added to Alang, steps were taken for the welfare of the labourers working there. These are steps we are taking towards development: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * To make life of our fishermen better we have to empower them, govt will give them loans on less interest so they can buy bigger boats: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * We are taking steps to ensure greater income for our farmers: PM Modi in Gujarat's Dwarka * Building of infrastructure should enhance economic activities and add to the atmosphere of development: PM Modi in Gujarat * Development of the tourism sector cannot be in isolation. If we want to draw more tourists to Gir, we should also inspire the tourist to visit other parts like Dwarka: PM Modi in Gujarat. * Today I am seeing a very different mood here in Dwarka. There is tremendous enthusiasm here. What we are working towards is not merely a bridge to reach Bet Dwarka, it connects us to our history and culture: PM Modi in Gujarat. * I still recall how tough it was for people of Bet Dwarka. Lack of infrastructure meant transportation was tough, people faced difficulties if an emergency came up. We wanted to change this with a push on infrastructure: PM Modi in Gujarat.