Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Kevadiya in Gujarat, via video conferencing. These trains will boost connectivity to the Statue of Unity.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Dabhoi – Chandod Gauge converted Broad Gauge railway line, Chandod – Kevadiya new Broad Gauge railway line, newly electrified Pratapnagar – Kevadiya section and the new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya.
The Prime Minister said that, perhaps, for the first time in the history of Railways, trains have been flagged off for the same destinations from different corners of the country. He explained that this is because of the importance of Kevadiya as home to the Statue of Unity and Sardar Sarovar. Today’s event exemplifies the vision of railways and mission of Sardar Patel.
The Prime Minister, pointed out the new connectivity between Kevadiya and Chennai, Varanasi, Rewa, Dadar and Delhi along with MEMU service between Kevadiya and Pratapnagar and broad gauging of Dabhoi-Chandod and new Line between Chandod- Kevadiya will script a new chapter in the development of Kevadiya. This will benefit both the tourists and local Adivasis as this will bring new avenues of self-employment and employment. The railway line will provide connection to the places of faith like Karnali, Poicha and Garudeshwar on Narmada.
The Prime Minister dwelled at length on the transformation of Indian Railways through goal-centric effort. He said that apart from the traditional role of passenger and goods transportation, railways are giving direct connectivity to places of tourism and religious importance. He said many routes including Ahmedabad- Kevadiya Janshatabdi will have attractive ‘Vista-Dome Coaches’
The Prime Minister also outlined the change in approach for developing railway infrastructure. He said that earlier focus was limited to keeping the existing infrastructure running and there was little attention on new thinking or new technology. It was imperative to change this approach. In recent years, work was done on comprehensive transformation of the entire railway system and it wasn’t limited to tinkering with budget and new train announcements. The transformation took place on many fronts. He gave an example of the present project of connecting Kevadiya where multi-pronged focus led to completion of the task in record time.
The Prime Minister also presented Dedicated Freight Corridor as an example of change in approach from earlier times. The Prime Minister dedicated the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors recently. This project was under progress and between 2006-2014 work was done only on papers with not even a single kilometer track laid. Now a total of 1100 Kilometer are about to be completed in the next few days.
PM Modi also elucidated on new connectivity as unconnected parts of the country are being connected. Speed of broad gauging and electrification has gained momentum and tracks are being prepared for higher speed. This has enabled running of semi high speed trains and we are moving towards high-speed capabilities, for this budget has been enhanced manifold, said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that it is being ensured that railways remains environment -friendly. Kevadiya Station is India’s first railway station to start with green building certification.
He also stressed the importance of Aatmnirbharta in railway related manufacturing and technology which is yielding good results now. It was due to local manufacturing of high horsepower electric locomotives that India could launch the world’s first double stacked long haul container train. Today a series of indigenously manufactured modern trains are part of Indian Railways, said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for skilled specialist manpower and professionals to meet the requirement of the railway transformation. This need drove the establishment of Deemed Railway University in Vadodara. India is one of the few countries to have an institute of this stature. Modern amenities for rail transport, multi-disciplinary research, training are being made available. Talented youth from 20 states are being trained to steer the present and future of railway. This will help in modernizing railway through innovation and research, concluded the Prime Minister.