New Delhi: The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project will help improve the partnership between Gujarat and Mumbai at the "social level", Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Gujarat and Mumbai are "important pillars" of the Indian economy, and ongoing infrastructure projects where the two have partnered will help both, he said.
Speaking at an investor roadshow in Mumbai ahead of the tenth 'Vibrant Gujarat' summit in Mumbai, Patel said while Mumbai is the financial capital of the country, Gujarat has become the most preferred investment destination.
"The bullet train project will help infrastructure development and economic activities, but also improve the partnership on the social level," Patel said in comments that come amid some instances showing a lack of warmth between Marathi and Gujarati-speaking communities in the financial capital.
Recently, workers from the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena allegedly vandalised Gujarati posters in suburban Ghatkopar, which has a sizable Gujarati-speaking population.
When completed, the over Rs 1.67 lakh crore, high-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will reduce the travel time to two hours and seven minutes.
Patel also mentioned the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project 38 per cent of which passes through his state as another project which will benefit companies both in Gujarat and Mumbai by helping with logistics.
He hoped that the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat summit scheduled to be held between January 10-12, 2024 will strengthen the partnership between Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The 20-year-old forum started by the state when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was heading the state has become one of the biggest such platforms globally where business can network, get knowledge and forge strategic partnerships, he said.
After the public roadshow, Patel was scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran, UPL's Jai Shroff, Prashant Ruia from Essar and Kumar Mangalam Birla, among others.
Speaking at the event, cigarette maker ITC's chairman and managing director Sanjiv Puri said the company has invested Rs 1,000 crore in the state last year including bets on a new hotel and a packaging unit.
Reliance Industries' group president Dhanraj Nathwani said the conglomerate has invested Rs 4 lakh crore in the state, and added that it has plans to invest Rs 5 lakh crore more.
Its plans include a fully integrated, end-to-end solar PV manufacturing factory, battery giga factory, and electrolyser manufacturing facility (all in Jamnagar), he said, adding that it is also planning to have 25 compressed biogas units in Gujarat.
The state's chief secretary Raj Kumar said it is now planning for the second phase of the GIFT City, which will more than triple the overall size to 1,400 hectares from the present 400 hectares. A modern city by the side of the Sabarmati is planned on the lines of similar projects in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore and Barcelona, he said.
He said the Surat Diamond Bourse will be operational by the end of the year, and the Dream City housing is expected to create over 2 lakh jobs.
The high-speed rail will be a "game-changer" for one of the most vibrant industrial corridors of the country, Kumar said.