State bhawans in the national capital should not be merely guest houses but be brand representatives of their respective states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, as he called for them to serve as centres to promote trade and tourism as well.
Inaugurating ‘Garvi Gujarat’, the second state bhawan of the Gujarat government here, Modi reiterated his appeal to free India of single-use plastic.
Modi was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and former chief minister Anandiben Patel, who is currently Uttar Pradesh governor, as he inaugurated and walked through the complex built over more than 7,000 sq metres of area at Akbar Road.
Rupani said that this is the “first eco-friendly” state bhawan in the national capital. It cost Rs 131 crore and was completed three months ahead of the deadline, he added.
The bhawan has been described as a mix of traditional and mordern architecture with a rich reflection of the western state’s culture.
The prime minister praised development projects undertaken in Gujarat since he stepped down as its chief minister in 2014.
With Gujarat making strides in providing piped drinking water to people, Modi said the Union government, too, will succeed in doing so across the country by 2024.
Expressing happiness at the early completion of the building, he said the work culture of meeting deadlines is developing in government agencies and this should be taken at every level.
The bhawan is an evidence of the ‘New India’ mindset which believes in linking modernity to its cultural heritage, the prime minister said.
“We want to touch the sky while remaining rooted,” Modi said.
He suggested that the Gujarat government should promote cultural programmes and food festivals in the building to connect the rest of the country with the state.
In a lighter vein, Modi said people, especially from north India, would find Gujarati cuisine too sweet but also ask where they can get good Gujarati food.
The statue of unity, a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in the state has helped India gain more respect in global tourism, he said, noting that the site recently found mention in the international media as among the places people should visit.
The prime minister pointed out that over 34,000 tourists visited the site on ‘Janamashtami’.