New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone through video conferencing and dedicated several railway projects worth over Rs 8,000 crore to the nation. Projects include flagging of Vande Bharat Express between Puri and Howrah, laying of foundation stone for reconstruction of Puri and Cuttack railway stations, 100% electrification of Odisha’s railway network, doubling of Sambalpur-Titlagarh railway line, new broad gauge railway line between Angul – Sukinda; the third line between Manoharpur – Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Jamga and a new broad gauge line between Bichhupali – Jhartarbha.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted that the people of Odisha and West Bengal will be gifted the Vande Bharat Express, a symbol of modern and aspiring India, today. “India’s speed and progress can be seen when a Vande Bharat train runs from one place to another,” the Prime Minister said, noting that such pace can now be witnessed in the states of Odisha and West Bengal. According to the Prime Minister, this will completely change the meaning of the development and the travel experience of the passengers. Be it from Kolkata to Puriba Darshan or vice versa, the Prime Minister informed that the travel time will now be reduced to only six and a half hours thus saving time, creating business opportunities and providing new opportunities to the youth. .
The Prime Minister noted that railways are the first choice and priority of every citizen who wants to travel far and mentioned the other railway development projects whose foundation stones were laid today, including the redevelopment and modernization of Puri and Cuttack railway stations, as well as plans to double the railway lines in the region and for 100 percent electrification of railway lines in Orissa.
Referring to the era of Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to strengthen the unity and integrity of the country and said that the collective capabilities of the country can reach its peak when the country remains fully united. He noted that Vande Bharat Express reflects such a belief where it becomes an engine for the development of the country while carrying forward the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. “Indian Railways connects and weaves everyone together and Vande Bharat Express is moving forward with the same idea and thought,” the Prime Minister said. He further added that the train will strengthen the spiritual and cultural connection between Puri and Howrah. According to the Prime Minister, fifteen Vande Bharat trains are already running in different states of the country, giving impetus to the country’s economy.
“Odisha is one of the states in the country where 100 per cent electrification of railways has been done,” the Prime Minister remarked while informing that work was going on at a fast pace to achieve the same in West Bengal. According to the prime minister, this resulted in an overall increase in the speed of trains and time savings for freight trains. He noted that the mineral-rich state of Odisha will greatly benefit from the electrification of railway lines.
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