The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off Rajasthan’s first Vande Bharat Express train via video conferencing. He congratulated the land of valour Rajasthan for getting its first Vande Bharat Train that will not only ease the travel between Jaipur-Delhi but will also give a push to the tourism industry of Rajasthan as it will help the access to places of faith like Theerthraj Pushkar and Ajmer Sharif.
- In the last two months, the Prime Minister recalled getting the opportunity to flag off six Vande Bharat trains in the country including the Delhi-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express and gave the example of Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat Express, Mumbai-Shiridi Vande Bharat Express, Rani Kamlapati-Hazrat Nizammuddin Vande Bharat Express, Secunderabad-Tirupati Vande Bharat Express and Chennai Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express.
- He pointed out that approximately 60 lakh citizens have travelled in the Vande Bharat Express since its inception. The speed of Vande Bharat is its main speciality and it is saving the time of people. According to a study, those who travel by Vande Bharat express save 2500 hours on every trip.
- He highlighted that the Vande Bharat Express is developed while keeping in mind manufacturing skills, safety, fast pace and beautiful design. Reiterating that the citizens have highly appreciated the Vande Bharat Express, the Express train is the first semi automatic train to be developed in India and one of world’s first compact and efficient trains.
- Vande Bharat is the first train to be compatible with the indigenous safety Kavach system. He pointed out that it is the first train to scale the heights of Sahyadri Ghats without needing an extra engine.
- The Vande Bharat Express realizes the spirit of ‘India First Always First’. He expressed that the Vande Bharat Express has become synonymous with development, modernity, stability and ‘Atmanirbharta’.
- He lamented the fact that an important and basic need of the citizens like railways was turned into an arena of politics. He said India inherited a fairly big railway network at the time of Independence but political interest dominated the need for modernization in the years after independence.
- Underlining the priority that is being accorded to connectivity in Rajasthan, he mentioned starting of work on the railway line from Taranga Hill to Ambaji. This line was a century old pending demand which is now being fulfilled.
- He also informed that broad gauging of Udaipur-Ahmedabad line has already been completed and more than 75 percent railway network has been electrified. Shri Modi remarked that the railway budget for Rajasthan has been increased 14 times since 2014, from 700 crore in 2014 to more than 9500 crore rupees this year.
- Speed of doubling of the railway lines also doubled. The gauge change and doubling has helped tribal areas like Dungerpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Pali and Sirohi. Dozens of stations are being upgraded under ‘Amrit Bharat Railway Yojana’.
- Keeping in mind the convenience of the tourists, he informed that the government is also running different types of circuit trains and gave the example of Bharat Gaurav circuit trains that have made more than 70 trips so far ferrying more than 15 thousand passengers.
- Be it Ayodhya-Kashi, Dakshin Darshan, Dwarka Darshan, Sikh pilgrimage sites, Bharat Gaurav circuit trains have been run for many such places. Noting the positive feedback received on social media by those travelling, he said that these trains are continuously strengthening the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat’.
- He highlighted the ‘One Station One Product’ campaign and said that Indian Railways has made another effort over the years in taking the local products of Rajasthan across the country.
- He pointed out that Indian Railways has set up around 70 One Station One Product Stalls including Rajasthan Jaipuri quilts, Sanganeri block print bed sheets, rose products, and other handicrafts that are being sold in these stalls.
- He noted that small farmers, artisans and handicraftsmen of Rajasthan have got this new medium to reach the market. Concluding the address, he said that this is an example of everyone’s participation in development.
- When the infrastructure of connectivity like rail is strong, then the country is strong. This benefits the common citizen of the country, benefits the poor and middle class of the country, he concluded and expressed confidence that the modern Vande Bharat train will play an important role in speeding up the development of Rajasthan.
- The inaugural train will run between Jaipur and Delhi Cantt. Railway Station. The regular service of this Vande Bharat Express will start from 13th April, 2023 and will operate between Ajmer and Delhi Cantt with stops at Jaipur, Alwar and Gurgaon.
- The new Vande Bharat Express will cover the distance between Delhi Cantt. and Ajmer in 5 hours 15 minutes.
- The present fastest train in the same route, Shatabdi Express, takes 6 hours 15 minutes from Delhi Cantt. to Ajmer. Thus, the new Vande Bharat Express will be faster by 60 minutes as compared to the present fastest train running on the same route.
- Ajmer-Delhi Cantt. Vande Bharat Express will be the world’s first semi high speed passenger train on high rise overhead electric (OHE) territory.
- The train will improve connectivity of major tourist destinations in Rajasthan including Pushkar, Ajmer Sharif Dargah etc. Enhanced connectivity will also provide a boost to socio-economic development in the region.
Source: PIB- Press Release | Images Credit: MoR