Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the world’s largest renewable energy park in Gujarat’s Kutch. This 30,000-megawatt capacity hybrid renewable energy park will be built along the Indo-Pak border at Khavda using both wind and solar energy. Spread over 72,600 hectares of wasteland, the first of its kind energy project is expected to play a major role in fulfilling India’s vision of generating 450 gw (4,50,000 MW) of power by 2030. “This park will be bigger than India’s biggest metro cities. It will produce power using the energy of the Sun and the wind,” said Modi while speaking on the occasion. The mega project will not only help in better utilisation of a vast patch of the desert but also in securing the land border, the Prime Minister said during the foundation stone laying ceremony.

The project will benefit both farmers and the industry. Also, the project would reduce pollution as it will help in stopping carbon dioxide of 5 crore tonnes entering the atmosphere every year, which is equivalent to planting as many as nine crore trees, he further said. In terms of producing renewable energy, India now ranks fourth in the world and the installed solar generation capacity of the country has risen 16 times in six years, PM Modi said.

The second proposed project, for which the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone is a 100 MLD desalination plant. To convert seawater into freshwater, this plant is coming up near the coastal town of Mandvi. Once functional, the plant will provide water of 10 crore litres to a population of 8 lakh living in Kutch’s Lakhpat Abdasa, Mandvi, Mundra and Nakhatrana villages.

PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for the Rs 129-crore fully automated dairy plant under the Centre’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. As the then CM, Modi had set up the district’s first dairy plant with 2 lakh litre processing capacity in 2013-14. Earlier, milk from the plant was carried to the Amul plant at Gandhinagar for processing. With the new plant, another 2 lakh litre milk and buttermilk will be processed and sold in Kutch under the Amul brand, said the release.

The energy project in Modi’s home state will account for a large chunk of India’s ambitious target of generating 175 GW in renewable energy by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. Modi said it would also help the world’s second-most populous country reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 50 million tonnes per year. The desalination plant will be able to process 100 million litres of water a day for 800,000 people living in the arid region bordering Pakistan.