Ahmedabad, Sep 30 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off a new and improved version of the semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express train between Gandhinagar and Mumbai and inaugurated the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro project. Assembly elections are to be held in this western state at the end of 2022. The Prime Minister also took a ride on Vande Bharat train and Metro and said that the cities of the country will shape the future of India and will also ensure that it becomes a developed nation in the next 25 years.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement that the Prime Minister inspected the coaches of the Vande Bharat Express train and took stock of the facilities available in it. He also inspected the control center of the locomotive engine of the train. The PMO said, “During the journey, the Prime Minister also interacted with his co-travellers including family members of railway employees, women entrepreneurs and researchers and youth.He also interacted with the workers, engineers and other employees working hard to make Vande Bharat trains a success. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav and Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Connecting the capitals of Maharashtra and Gujarat, this train is the third train in the series of Vande Bharat trains that have been operated in the country. The first train of this series was started between New Delhi and Varanasi while the second train was started between New Delhi to Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra.He said that this train will provide better and air travel experience to the passengers and it has modern security measures including armor technology. This indigenously developed train is equipped with state-of-the-art safety features including anti-collision system- Kavach.
Gandhinagar-Mumbai Vande Bharat Superfast Express will start for general public from October 1. It will operate six days a week except Sundays. This train will leave from Mumbai Central station at 6.10 am and will reach Gandhinagar at 12.30 pm. This train will leave Gandhinagar at 2.05 PM and reach Mumbai Central at 8.35 PM. During this time this train will stop at Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad stations.
The PMO said that the Vande Bharat Express will prove to be a “game changer” and will boost connectivity between the two business hubs of India. After this, the Prime Minister inaugurated and traveled the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project between Thaltej and Vastral. The 21-km-long corridor between Thaltej and Vastral has 17 stations, the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) said in a statement. The corridor also has an underground section of 6.6 km with four stations.A part of the first phase of the project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on 4 March 2019. In this part, a distance of 6.5 km between Vastral to Apparel Park was connected by metro. This project was approved in 2014. GMRC said that the metro fare will be between Rs 5 and Rs 15.
Under the second phase of this project, the capital Gandhinagar will be connected with Ahmedabad. This will be an extension of the first phase. This phase will have two corridors, with a 22.8-km stretch between Motera Stadium and Mahatma Mandir. It will have 20 stations. The second part will be of 5.4 km which will connect the National Law University with GIFT City. It will have two stations. The entire route will also be expanded in the second phase.Later addressing an event, Modi said that such new cities are being built in the country which are in line with the “global business demand”. Along with this, the focus is being on the improvement and expansion of old cities. Emphasizing on developing cities in the country on the lines of Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister said that 21st century India is going to get a new momentum from the cities of the country.
Terming speed as an important factor for rapid development, the Prime Minister said that along with seamless connectivity, the transport system should also be modern. He said, “21st century India is going to get new momentum from the cities of the country. With the changing times and changing needs, it is necessary to continuously modernize our cities. Therefore, the focus is on investing in the cities of the country as this will ensure that India becomes a developed nation in the next 25 years.He said that cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Indore and Jaipur will also shape the future of India in the next 25 years. He said that investment is not only being made on increasing connectivity but better facilities are also being developed in dozens of cities. He said, “The system of transport in the city should be modern, there should be uninterrupted connectivity and one mode of transport should cooperate with the other, it is necessary to do this.”
The Prime Minister said that Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad are good examples of how cities are developed. He said that the foundation for the construction of such a city is being laid in Gujarat. He said that New York-New Jersey is often discussed as a city, so how can India lag behind. “We have the model of Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad as a city,” Modi said.
Shunhonne kaha ki aanand-naadiyaad, bharooch-ankaleshvar, valasaad-vaapee, soorat-navasaaree, vadodara-kalol, morabee-vankaaner, mehasaadha-kadee jaise nagaradvay gujaraat kee pahachaan ko aur majaboot karenge. unhonne aage kaha, ‘‘puraane shaharon mein sudhaar aur unake vistaar par dhyaan kendrit karane ke saath-saath aise nae shaharon ko bhee taiyaar kiya ja raha hai, jo global bijanes dimaand ke anusaar hon. gipht sitee bhee is prakaar ke ‘plag end ple’ suvidhaon vaale shaharon ka bahut uttam udaaharan hai.’’ He said that cities like Anand-Nadiad, Bharuch-Ankleshwar, Valsad-Vapi, Surat-Navsari, Vadodara-Kalol, Morbi-Vankaner, Mehsadha-Kadi would further strengthen the identity of Gujarat. He further added, “With the focus on improving and expanding old cities, new cities are also being created which are as per the global business demand. GIFT City is also a great example of cities having such ‘plug and play’ facilities.”Targeting the previous governments at the Center, Modi said that no serious efforts have been made in the past to increase the speed of trains and jam on the roads.