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Assam: PM Modi takes elephant ride at Kaziranga National Park

PM Modi at Kaziranga National Park (Photo: ANI)

On a two-day visit to Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took an elephant ride at the Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Earlier, on Friday, PM Modi held a roadshow in Kaziranga, with locals turning out in numbers to give him a grand reception.

Cultural events were performed as part of the rousing welcome to PM Modi.

Considered Assam’s crown jewel, the Kaziranga National Park is home to the largest habitat of rhinos, over 600 species of birds, a thriving population of dolphins and one of the highest densities of tigers.

A popular holiday destination, drawing visitors from across the country and the globe, Kaziranga is inhabited by more than 2200 Indian one-horned rhinos, approximately 2/3rd of their total world population. Developed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, the park is located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots–Golaghat and Nagaon districts.

The park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

During the Assam leg of his 10-day whirl of 12 states, straddling the country’s north, south, east and west, PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for various development projects in the state.

He will also inaugurate the Tinsukia Medical College and lay the foundation stone for Sivasagar Medical College, which is coming up under the PM-DIVINE scheme, later in the day.

He will lay the foundation stone for the expansion of Digboi Refinery from 0.65 million MT to 1 million MT at a cost of Rs 768 crore.

He will also lay the foundation stone for the expansion of Guwahati Refinery from 1 million MT to 1.2 million MT with a cost of Rs 510 crore while also inaugurating a pipeline project from Barauni to Guwahati at a cost of Rs 3,992 crore.

He will also address a rally at Meleng Meteli and inaugurate several projects of both the central and state governments.

In addition, he is also scheduled to perform the ‘Griha Pravesh’ (house-warming) ceremony for the 5.5 lakh houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), lay the foundation stone of Sivasagar Medical College, and address a public gathering at Meleng Meteli Pothar in Jorhat.

His two-day visit to the BJP-ruled state is being seen as the key to the party’s ongoing campaign and preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which are likely to be held sometime between April and May this year.