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AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday inaugurate virtually the newly-built Kevadia railway station near the Statue of Unity in Narmada district and a broad gauge line connecting Vadodara with Kevadia, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Friday.

The inauguration was earlier scheduled for Saturday but, apparently, got pushed back by a day due to the prime minister kicking off the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive on the same day.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kevadia railway station through video-conference from New Delhi on January 17. He will also inaugurate the Vadodara- Kevadia railway line on the same day,” the chief minister said in Jamnagar.

Rupani said the PM would flag off eight trains from Kevadia, some 195 kilometres from here, during the virtual function on Sunday.

In December 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind visited Kevadia, which is around 5 kilometres from the 182-metre tall Statue of Unity, and laid the foundation stone for the railway station, aimed at providing a direct rail link to the heavily patronised monument from Vadodara, a major Western Railway junction.

To connect Kevadia with the main line, the railways converted the 18-kilometre Dabhoi-Chandod narrow gauge line into broad gauge and connected Chandod with Kevadia by laying a 32-kilometre broad gauge line.

On January 18, the PM would also lay foundation stones for two metro train services in Gujarat via video-conference from New Delhi, Rupani said.

“On January 18, the PM will lay the foundation stone for phase-II of the metro project, connecting Ahmedabad with Gandhinagar and GIFT City. He will also perform the virtual stone-laying ceremony of the upcoming metro train project for Surat city,” the CM said.

Ahmedabad metro train service is divided into two phases, with the city getting covered in the first, and a link to Gandhinagar in the second.

In March 2019, PM Modi had inaugurated the 6.5 kilometer stretch of the Ahmedabad Metro train service. Work on the remaining stretches of phase I is under progress.

Ahmedabad Metro’s first phase has two corridors, one from Vastral to Thaltej Gam and the second from Gyaspur depot to Motera stadium.

The second phase will be from Motera cricket stadium till Gandhinagar, officials had earlier said.