The tea stall in Gujarat’s Vadnagar where Prime Minister Narendra Modi sold tea during his childhood would be developed as a tourist spot, Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma has said.
“Inside the Vadnagar railway station, there is a small tea stall, from where our PM had probably started his life’s journey. We also want to develop that tea stall as a tourism spot. We will try to preserve the original charm of the tea stall while giving it a modern touch. Our aim is to put Vadnagar on world tourism map,” Sharma said in Gandhinagar on Sunday.
However, he on Monday issued a clarification in the national capital, saying although there was a plan to develop the Vadnagar railway station as a tourist destination, there was no proposal for giving a facelift to the tea stall.
“The ministry of tourism along with the ministry of railways are developing the Vadnagar Railway station as a tourist destination. We have already discussed the plans. As of now there are no plans to give any facelift to the tea stall,” Sharma said in a statement.
The stall is located on one of the platforms of the Vadnagar Railway station. Officials of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had visited the town on Sunday.
The team of officials was led by Sharma, who later announced that the original charm of the tea stall will be preserved while giving it a modern touch.
“Apart from being the birthplace of our PM, Vadnagar is an important historical centre having famous Sharmishta Lake and a step-well. ASI had recently found remains of a Buddhist Monastery during excavation, which is still going on,” Sharma said.
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi had often mentioned that he used to sell tea during his childhood at the Vadnagar railway station along with his father. Earlier, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ahmedabad Dinesh Kumar had said the entire project of developing Vadnagar and adjoining places in Mehsana district would cost over Rs 100 crore.
“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 eight crore to the state Tourism Department to develop the railway station,” Kumar had said.