“We all know that there are several railway stations which have not been developed for the past several years… Work to develop these stations are underway… All the stations which will be developed in the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal’ will be called ‘Amrit Bharat stations,” PM Modi said in his virtual address as he flagged off nine Vande Bharat Express trains. “These stations will become the identity of the new Bharat in the coming days”, he added.
The Prime Minister emphasized that “an India on the path of being developed will now have to modernize its railway stations as well”.
With this thinking in mind, for the first time a campaign for the development and modernization of railway stations has begun in India, he said adding that today, a record number of foot over bridges, lifts and escalators are being constructed in the country for the convenience of railway passengers.
“Nine Vande Bharat Express trains being launched today will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism across India,” PM Modi said ahead of the flag off. The prime minister said that the speed and scale of infrastructure development match with aspirations of 140 crore Indians.
“The speed and scale of infrastructure development are matching with the aspirations of 140 crore Indians. Today people of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat will get the facility of Vande Bharat Express trains. These new Vande Bharat Express trains depict the new energy of the country,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said that 25 Vande Bharat Express trains are already running, now nine more will be added to them.
“The popularity of Vande Bharat trains is constantly rising. Over 1,11,00,000 crore passengers have already travelled on them,” he said.
Stressing the importance of railways in the lives of common citizens, the Prime Minister pointed out the neglect of this important sector in earlier times. Elaborating on the efforts of the current government for the transformation of Indian Railways the Prime Minister informed about the increased budget as this year’s budget for railway is eight times the rail budget of 2014. Similarly, work is going on for doubling, electrification and new routes, PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness that the Railways has started celebrating the ‘Sthapna Diwas’ day of establishment of railway station and mentioned the celebrations at Coimbatore, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Mumbai. Coimbatore Railway station has completed 150 years. “Now this tradition of celebrating the birthday of railway stations will be expanded further and more and more people will be involved in it”, he said.
The Prime Minister said that the country has made the vision of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat a medium of Sankal se Siddhi. “To achieve the goal of a developed India by 2047, development of every state and the people of every state is necessary”, PM Modi said.
He said that selfish thinking of concentrating railway development in the state of the railway minister has damaged the country a lot and now we simply can not afford to keep any state backwards. “We have to move ahead with a vision of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”, he said.
Addressing the hardworking employees of the Railways, the Prime Minister asked them to make every journey memorable for the passengers. “Every employee of the Railways has to remain constantly sensitive towards ease of travel and to provide a good experience to the passengers,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that people have noticed the new standards of cleanliness of railways. He asked everyone to get involved in the proposed Swachhta Abhiyan at 10 am on October 1 to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
“I am confident that the changes taking place at every level in Indian Railways and society will prove to be an important step towards a developed India”, the Prime Minister said.
The launch of these trains will connect religious and tourist destinations across 11 these states, a PMO statement said earlier. The new trains are Udaipur – Jaipur Vande Bharat Express, Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express, Hyderabad –Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express, Vijayawada – Chennai (via Renigunta) Vande Bharat Express, Patna – Howrah Vande Bharat Express, Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express, Rourkela – Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express, Ranchi – Howrah Vande Bharat Express and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express.
These Vande Bharat trains will be the fastest trains along the routes of their operation and will help save considerable time for the passengers. As compared to the current fastest train along the route, the Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express and Kasaragod – Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat Express will be faster by about three hours, the Hyderabad – Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express by more than 2.5 hours, the Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express by more than two hours.
Ranchi – Howrah Vande Bharat Express, Patna – Howrah Vande Bharat Express and Jamnagar-Ahmedabad Vande Bharat Express will be faster about 1 hour; and Udaipur – Jaipur Vande Bharat Express by about half an hour.
“In line with the Prime Minister’s vision to improve connectivity of important religious places across the country, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar – Puri Vande Bharat Express and Tirunelveli-Madurai- Chennai Vande Bharat Express will connect important religious towns of Puri and Madurai. Also, the Vijayawada – Chennai Vande Bharat Express will operate via the Renigunta route and will provide connectivity to the Tirupati Pilgrimage Centre,” a statement by the PMO added.
The introduction of these Vande Bharat trains will herald a new standard of rail service in the country. These trains, equipped with world-class amenities and advanced safety features, including Kavach technology, will be a key step towards providing modern, speedy and comfortable means of travel to common people, professionals, businessmen, student community and tourists,” the PMO statement added.