PTI Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Jan 16, 2018, 10.24 AM
Gujarat is set to roll out the red carpet for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he arrives here tomorrow along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
The two leaders will hold a roadshow, which will begin from the city airport and end at the Sabarmati Ashram, a journey of eight kilometres.
Around 50 stages will be erected on the roadside along the stretch and people from different states of the country will welcome Netanyahu.
The two leaders, who hit it off during Modi's visit to Israel in July last year, the first by an Indian prime minister, would visit two centres of excellence and inaugurate another such facility.
"Around 50 stages have been built along the roadside on the eight-kilometre stretch. Cultural programmes will be performed by troupes of different states as well as ethnicity to welcome the guests," Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said.
"The Indian Jewish people will also welcome the two leaders," he said.
The city, especially the stretch from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram, has been decked up to welcome Netanyahu along with his wife Sara.
Modi and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe had also held a joint roadshow during the latter's visit here in September last year. The Indian premier had shown Abe and his wife around at the Sabarmati Ashram.
They had also spent some time at the Sabarmati Riverfront, developed during Modi's tenure as Gujarat chief minister.
Modi had also accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping and his spouse to the riverfront during the latter's India visit in 2014.
"According to the tentative schedule, Modi and Netanyahu would first visit the Sabarmati Ashram on their arrival here tomorrow. Both the dignitaries will be accorded a grand welcome," Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had earlier said.
From the Ashram, Modi and Netanyahu would go to 'iCreate', an autonomous centre of excellence near Bavla town close to the city, Rupani said.
'iCreate' was formally launched in 2011 by Modi when he was the chief minister. The institution mentors budding entrepreneurs and guides them to set up start-ups, according to an official.
The Israeli prime minister will also present Modi a special gift -- the Gal-Mobile water desalinisation and purification jeep the two leaders rode at Israel's Olga beach last year.
There will be a live demonstration of desalination of sea water that the two prime ministers will witness through video conferencing from the iCreate centre on Janaury 17.
The jeep is said to cost around 390,000 shekels (approximately USD 111,000).
The two leaders would then proceed for a Sabarkantha- based centre of excellence for agriculture established by Isreal. They will inaugurate a research facility for cultivation of dates in Kutch by remote control from Sabarkantha, the chief minister had earlier said.