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New Delhi, May 25 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flagged off the inaugural run of Uttarakhand’s first Vande Bharat Express from Dehradun to Delhi and slammed the previous governments for not working on the connectivity in the hill state.
The Prime Minister said that the Vande Bharat Express will attract more tourists to �the state.
Prime Minister Modi also dedicated the newly electrified rail line sections as a part of his vision to provide cleaner means of public transport and electrifying rail routes in the country. With this, the state will have its entire rail route 100 per cent electrified.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi underlined that now Dev bhoomi will be connected to the national capital through Vande Bhart Express which will make the journey more pleasant.
Modi said that the manner in which India has strengthened its economy has earned the trust of the world. Even during the Covid pandemic, the country gave a tough fight and supplied vaccines to other countries.
“Today, people want to come to India and in such a scenario, it is a big opportunity for Uttarakhand and this Vande Bharat train will help the hill state,” Modi said.
“After offering prayers at Baba Kedarnath, I had murmured that this decade will be of Uttarakhand’s and today the way the state is striding ahead in development is commendable. It is good for preserving the identity of Devbhoomi. This devbhoomi will be the centre of attraction of spirituality,” he said.
On tourists visiting Uttarakhand, the PM said, “We have seen how people visit the state for char dham yatra and also to participate in the Kumbh here. There are only a few states in the country where people come in such large numbers.”
Catering to so many people is not an easy task but the double engine government is working at full pace. BJP has focused on Kedarnath and Badrinath projects worth Rs 1,300 crore, Rs 2,500 crore for Gaurikund-Kedarnath and Hemkund Sahib ropeway work, promotion of home stay, 16 eco tourism development, spread of health services, among others.
In Udhamsingh Nagar AIIMS satellite centre is being built, Tihri lake development project work Rs 2000 crore is underway, Rishikesh and Hardiwar are emerging as adventure tourism destinations and yoga capital. Work on the Tanakpur-Bageshwar rail line will also start soon, he said.
Under Pushkar Singh Dhami government, all the projects have been paced up on Chardham project with Rs 12,000 crore, between Dehradun and Delhi expressway is also on fast track, which will ease the travel.
Besides roadways, works are also going on ropeway connectivity. With the Parvat Mala project, it will change the face of the state as people have waited for long for proper connectivity. Riskiest and Karnprayag projects will be completed in the next two to three years and over Rs 16,000 crore is being spent on that,” Modi said.
“This project will help in creating employment opportunities and industrial development and Vande Bharat Express will also act as a big gift for the people,” Modi said.
Uttarakhand is now emerging as a film shooting destination, wedding destination, tourism Hub, adventure tourism hub with the efforts of the state government and is attracting the foreign tourists as well, he said.
Now, many parts of the country are having Vande Bharat Express. Train is the first choice of families for long travels.
Taking a pot shot at the previous governments, Modi said, “For��long, the ruling parties did not understand the people’s requirements. Those were focused more on scams, corruption, they were involved in families. In India for high speed trains, previous governments made hig promises. And even after many years they couldn’t do so.
“Similar was the condition of electrification of the Railway network as only one third of the rail network was electrified. So it was impossible to think of running high speed trains. So after 2014, we started bringing the high speed train projects and on other hand we also started preparing trains for semi high speed trains. And also sped up the process of electrification of the rail network. Today, more than 90 per cent of electrification of the entire network has been done and in Uttarakhand we have achieved 100 per cent electrification of the rail network,” he said.
During previous governments, Uttarakhand used to get Rs 200 crore, but this time the state has been granted Rs 5,000 crore projects and this is the reason why the rail network is expanding in the state which is needed for a hill state,” he charged.
“How many villages went vacant due to connectivity issues, we want to save the generations from the issue and thus we are focusing on connectivity. Even for providing proper connectivity to defence forces these projects would help,” he said.
The semi-high speed train will be India’s 17th and Uttarakhand’s first-ever Vande Bharat train which commenced its inaugural run from Dehradun to Delhi’s Anand Vihar terminal.
According to Northern Railway, the regular operations for the Delhi-Dehradun Vande Bharat Express will commence on May 29. The train will cover a distance of 302 km in four hours and forty-five minutes. It will operate six days a week, except Wednesday.
The Vande Bharat is scheduled to depart from Dehradun at 7 a.m. and will reach Delhi’s Anand Vihar terminal at 11.45 a.m., while it would depart from Anand Vihar at 05.50 p.m., and arrive at Dehradun by 10.35 p.m.
During the journey, the train will stop at Meerut City, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Roorkee, and Haridwar.
The fare for an AC chair seat from Delhi to Dehradun will be Rs 1,065, while an executive chair car ticket will cost Rs 1,890.
According to the Prime Minister Office’s (PMO) official release, the train is equipped with advanced safety features including the Kavach technology.