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Modi wants to develop Dholera SIR on lines of Kobe

The Gujarat chief minister returns after meeting Suzuki chief in Japan

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

On the last day of his four-day visit to land of the rising sun, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has expressed desire to develop Dholera SIR (Special Investment Region) as a model port city on line of Kobe city in Japan.

During his four-day visit, Modi also met Osamu Suzuki, chairman and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation. His meeting with Suzuki chief assumed significance in wake of media reports that Modi was planning to woo the car maker to shift plant to Gujarat following labour unrest at is manufacturing facility in Manesar, Haryana.

Maruti Suzuki India has signed a state support agreement (SSA) with the Gujarat government for purchase of land near Mehsana and plans to invest Rs 4,000 crore in the first phase to set up a 250,000 units per annum plant by 2015-16. Modi also had visited Suzuki's auto plant in Hamamatsu.

"Gujarat’s similarities and close relations with Kobe is not limited to disaster management but also in several development projects, in new frontiers. It included setting up a Disaster Management Museum and developing a Model City on the lines of Kobe in the state," Modi, who returned from Japan on Friday late night said.

He said this at farewell given to him and high-level delegation accompanying him by Kobe-Hyogo province Governor Toshizo Ido, a state government release said.

The chief minister drew similarity between Kobe and Dholera in Gujarat and said that both the regions were devastated by the earthquake. Kobe port was established in 812 AD, while Dholera is also an ancient port in the Gulf of Cambay with history of trade with Eurasian countries, the release said.

Earlier in the day Modi took an hour ride in the bay area to acquaint himself with the working of Kobe port which is known for rising from the debris within two years after disastrous earthquake in 1995.

Modi said that his government proposes to stretch the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as 'Coastal Corridor', extending it from Ahmedabad to Dholera and Bhavnagar, up to Kalpsar a dam-cum-tidal power project in Gulf of Cambay.

He further said the Gujarat could do wonders by combining Japan's technology and discipline with state's entrepreneurial skills in developing projects like the DMIC, and Asia’s biggest auto hub near Ahmedabad, the release said.

At the farewell function Kobe-Hyogo province Governor Toshizo Ido assured complete cooperation to Modi's plan for disaster management museum and developing a model port city on the lines of Kobe.

The Kobe-Hyogo province had extended its assistance to the quake-hit Kutch district of Gujarat in 2001 and helped build a school and boarding at Bhachau.

Overwhelmed by the warm reception in Japan, Modi said that his visit would serve as value addition to the cordial relation between Gujarat and Japan, and hoped that it would open new avenues of cooperation between the two.

"With this visit to Japan begins a new chapter of mutual trust," Modi said. During his four-day visit Modi met over 2,000 top officials of various organizations, and seven ministers of Japan government.

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First Published: Sat, July 28 2012. 00:03 IST