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Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express from Dehradun to Delhi via video conferencing. He also dedicated to the nation, newly electrified rail sections and declared Uttarakhand a 100% electric traction state.
- Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone from Uttarakhand for the inaugural Vande Bharat Express between Dehradun and Delhi and said the train will connect the nation’s capital to the Dev Bhoomi of Uttrakhand. He informed that the travel time between the two cities will be further reduced and the onboard facilities will make for a pleasant travel experience.
- The Prime Minister said that the government’s emphasis is on the ‘Navratna’, 9 gems of development;
- First Ratna, is Rs 1300 crore rejuvenation work at Kedarnath-Badrinath Dham.
- Second, Rs 2500 crore Ropeway project at Gaurikund-Kedarnath and Gobind Ghat- Hemkunt Sahib.
- Third, the renovation of ancient temples of Kumaon under Manas Khand Mandir Mala programme.
- Fourth, the promotion of Homestay in the entire state where more than 4000 homestays have been registered in the state.
- Fifth, the development of 16 ecotourism destinations.
- Sixth, expansion of health services in Uttarakhand. AIIMS satellite centre is coming up in Udham Singh Nagar.
- Seventh, Rs 2000 crore Tehri Lake Development Project.
- Eighth, the development of Haridwar Rishikesh as the capital of Yoga and adventure tourism.
- Nineth, the Tanakpur Bageshwar Rail Line.
- He said these Navratnas are being consolidated with a new push to infrastructure development in the state. Work is going on at a rapid pace on Rs 12,000 cr Char Dham Maha Pariyojana. Delhi Dehradun Expressway will make the journey faster and easier. He also talked about the Ropeway connectivity in Uttarakhand.
- The Parvat Mala Project is going to change the state’s fortune in the coming days. He remarked that the Rs 16,000 cr Rishikesh-Karanprayag Rail Project will be completed in 2-3 years. The Project will make a big part of Uttarakhand accessible and will push investment, industry and employment.
- He remarked that with the assistance of the Central Government, Uttarakhand is emerging as the hub of tourism, adventure tourism, film shooting destination and wedding destination. He said that the tourist spots of the state are attracting visitors from all across the globe and the Vande Bharat Express will be greatly beneficial to them.
- He observed that travelling by train remains the first choice for those who are accompanied by their family members and the Vande Bharat is gradually becoming the go-to means of transportation.
- The India of the 21st century can scale further heights of development by maximising the potential of infrastructure, he pointed out that the governments of the past could not understand the importance of infrastructure while they were preoccupied with corruption and dynastic politics.
- Even though huge promises were made by the previous governments regarding high-speed trains in India, he observed that they even failed to get rid of unmanned gates from the rail network, while the state of electrification of rail lines was even worse.
- He informed that only one-third of the country’s rail network had been electrified by 2014 making it impossible to think of a fast-running train. The all-around work to transform the railways began after 2014. He underlined that the work to implement the dream of the country’s first high-speed train began in full swing while also preparing the whole network for semi-high-speed trains.
- He informed that 600 km of rail lines were electrified every year on an average before 2014 whereas 6 thousand kilometres of railway lines are being electrified every year. Today, more than 90 percent of the country’s railway network has been electrified. In Uttarakhand, 100 percent electrification of the entire rail network has been achieved.
- He credited the development work to the right intention, policy and dedication. Underlining that the boost in the railway budget in comparison to 2014 has directly benefited Uttarakhand, he informed that 5 years before 2014, the average budget for the state was less than Rs 200 crore whereas today the rail budget is 5 thousand crore rupees, a 25 fold increase.
- He emphasised the importance of connectivity in a hilly state where people from the villages migrated due to a lack of connectivity and underlined that the Government wants to prevent that suffering for the coming generations. He also noted that modern connectivity will also be of great use in easy access to our borders and the soldiers defending the nation should not be inconvenienced in any way.
- Concluding the address, he said that the double-engine government is committed to the development of Uttarakhand where the rapid development of Uttarakhand will also help in the rapid development of India. The country is not going to stop now, the country has now caught its pace. The whole country is moving ahead at the speed of Vande Bharat and will continue to move ahead.
- This is the first Vande Bharat to be introduced in Uttarakhand. With world-class amenities, it will herald a new era of comfortable travel experiences, especially for tourists travelling to the state.
- The train has been indigenously and is equipped with advanced safety features including the Kavach technology. The new Vande Bharat Express will cover the distance between Dehradun to Delhi in 4.5 hours.
- Guided by the vision of the Prime Minister of providing cleaner means of public transport, Indian Railways is on a quest to completely electrify rail routes in the country.
- Moving ahead in this direction, the Prime Minster dedicated the newly electrified rail line sections in Uttarakhand. With this, the state will have its entire rail route 100% electrified.
- Trains run by electric traction on the electrified sections will result in an increase in the speed of trains and enhance haulage capacity.
Source: PIB- Press Release | Images Credit: MoR
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