The Centre will declare the tea stall in Gujarat’s Vadnagar railway platform – where Prime Minister Narendra Modi served customers in his childhood – a tourist spot, after renovating it.
“Converting the stall into a tourist spot is part of a larger project of putting Modi’s birthplace, Vadnagar in Mehsana district, on the world tourism map,” said Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma, who visited the town on Sunday.
Sharma said that the original charm of the tea stall would be preserved while giving it a modern touch. “Apart from being the birthplace of our PM, Vadnagar is an important historical centre,” Sharma said. “It has the famous Sharmishta Lake and a step-well. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had recently found the remains of a Buddhist monastery during an excavation, which still continues.”
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi often invoked his childhood and his days as a tea seller at the station. Gujarat tourism minister Ganpat Vasava said, “After Modi took over as the PM, a lot of tourists started visiting the town.” He said that the state and central governments have launched a massive development project in Vadnagar to promote tourism.
The divisional railway manager of Ahmedabad, Dinesh Kumar, said, “The development of Vadnagar railway station is one of the components of the Rs 100 crore project to develop Vadnagar, Modhera, and Patan as tourist destinations. As of now, the ministry of tourism has given Rs 8 crore to the state tourism department to develop the railway station.”