Vastavam web: President Ram Nath Kovind will be in Gujarat on December 15 to pay visit to the Statue of Unity in Narmada district. He will also lay the foundation stone for a railway station at Kevadiya village in the vicinity of which the 182-meter tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stands, an official release said Thursday. Local tribal leaders are opposing the railway station and have sought a meeting with the president over the issue.
As December 15 is the death anniversary of Sardar Patel, the country’s first home minister, Kovind will also attend a prayer meet in the statue complex. The railway station, to be built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, will provide direct rail connectivity to the tourists visiting the Statue of Unity.
To connect Kevadiya with main broad-gauge line, Railways has sanctioned the work to convert 18-km Dabhoi-Chandod narrow-gauge line into broad-gauge and build a new 32-km line from Chandod to Kevadiya, said an official of Western Railways. Leaders of local tribal communities have sought to meet the president during his visit.
In a memorandum submitted to the district authorities Thursday, tribal leader Praful Vasava appealed Kovind not to attend the event at Kevadiya, claiming that the Kevadiya gram sabha (village body) has passed a resolution against the railway station. The resolution passed by the gram sabha under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is binding on all authorities, he claimed.