JUNAGADH: With several projects in Gujarat being among the largest globally, the state’s competition is now with the world and not other states in the country, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Sunday after hoisting the national flag here on the Independence Day.

He also claimed that Gujarat was the only state that successfully tackled the COVID-19 pandemic during the second wave without going for a complete lockdown.

Rupani said his government is committed to fighting the possible third wave of COVID-19 and has made preparations for the same.

It is a matter of happiness that four crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be administered to people of the state by Sunday, he said during the state-level function to celebrate the country’s 75th Independence Day at Junagadh in the Saurashtra region.

“Gujarat’s competition now is not with other states, but with the world,” he claimed.

“The world’s tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ is constructed in Gujarat. The world’s largest cricket stadium, the Narendra Modi Stadium, is in Gujarat. The world’s largest 30,000-MW renewable energy park is in Gujarat – the world’s largest CNG port is at Bhavnagar in Gujarat,” Rupani said.

He further said the country’s first bullet train will start from Gujarat, and the state attracted the highest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

The country’s largest commercial complex in Surat, the first International Financial Services at GIFT City, the largest smart industrial city at Dholera SIR Park, are all in Gujarat, he added.

Rupani said Gujarat tops the country in the production of cumin, cotton and groundnut, and has the lowest unemployment rate.

The state tackled the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic through “collective leadership”, daily monitoring and decision-making of the core committee, he said.

“Gujarat is the only state in the entire country which did not go for a complete lockdown. We tackled the first and second waves of coronavirus with limited control. Now, with the experiences of the second wave, we are ready for the third wave,” he said.

“Let us pray to God that we don’t get to face the third wave. But in case we do, we are committed to fight the third wave and have made all preparations,” he added.

Rupani said his government is committed to vaccinating all people aged 18 and above in the state at the earliest.

“It is a matter of happiness that four crore COVID-19 vaccine doses will be administered by today. Gujarat is first in the country in terms of per million doses. We have achieved a recovery rate of 98.5 per cent,” he said.

The chief minister said his government was committed to all-round development of all the sections of society, and had promptly passed on the benefits of government schemes for the welfare of the weaker sections.

The state government had taken several decisions for the benefits of farmers, women, tribals, and other sections of society, he said, adding that as many as “1,700 decisions were taken fast and without pendency” in the last five years.

He said the Gujarat government implemented tough laws to tackle “love jihad”, liquor prohibition, drug menace, and anti-social elements of society.

The state government also equipped the police with 10,000 ‘body-worn’ cameras and other technologically advanced facilities like drone cameras, so as to make the security force strong and effective, he said.

The CM also announced benefits like five lakh gas connections to the poor under the ‘Ujjawala scheme’s second phase, Rs 780 crore to ensure daily water supply in areas under municipalities in the state, ‘star ranking’ system to encourage municipalities, and a subsidy of Rs 50,000, instead of Rs 30,000, to farmers under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Paak Sangrah Structure Yojana’.

He also urged people to contribute 60 per cent for a developmental project under the state’s ‘Vatan Prem Yojana’, while the remaining 40 per cent amount will be contributed by the government.