New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone and dedicated several railway projects worth more than Rs 8000 crores to the nation in Odisha via video conferencing.
During the event Prime Minister Narendra Modi also flagged off the Vande Bharat Express between Puri and Howrah.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister remarked that the people of Odisha and West Bengal are being presented the Vande Bharat Express today which is a symbol of modern and aspirational India.
“India’s speed and progress can be seen whenever a Vande Bharat Train runs from one place to another”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that this will entirely change the meaning of development along with the experience of traveling for the passengers.
“Be it traveling from Kolkata to Puri for darshan or the other way round” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the travel time will now be reduced to only six and half hours, and will give business opportunities for the youth.
The other railway development projects whose foundation stone has been laid today include, the redevelopment and modernization of Puri and Cuttack Railway Stations, along with the dedication of doubling of rail lines in the region and 100 percent electrification of rail lines in Odisha.
“Odisha is one of those states in the country where 100 percent electrification of rail lines has been achieved”, the Prime Minister remarked, as he informed that work is underway at a fast pace to achieve the same feat in West Bengal.
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 the pinnacle if the country remains totally united.
“The Vande Bharat Express is a reflection of such belief where it is becoming the engine of development for the country while forwarding the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” he said.
The Prime Minister informed that fifteen Vande Bharat Trains are already running in various states of the country giving a push to the economy of the country.
The Prime Minister said that in recent times India has maintained the speed of its development despite extremely adverse circumstances because the participation of every state in this journey”.
The Prime Minister said that, “unlike earlier times, New India is creating technology indigenously and also taking that to every nook and corner of the country”.
Referring to the indigenous origins of Vande Bharat Trains, the Prime Minister mentioned that India has developed technology like 5G and vaccines during the pandemic.
He also underlined that these innovations never remained limited to one state or city but were taken throughout the country in an equal manner.
The Prime Minister said that this policy of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is benefitting those states, which lagged behind in development.
He said that the budget for railway schemes in Odisha has increased significantly and in 10 years before 2014, only 20 km of Railway Lines were laid annually in the state, while in the year 2022-23, 120 km long lines were laid in just one year.
He said long pending projects like the Khurda Bolangir line, and the Haridaspur-Paradip line, are being completed rapidly.
During the event the Prime Minister also dedicated doubling of the Sambalpur-Titlagarh rail line, a new broad gauge rail line between Angul – Sukinda; the third line connecting Manoharpur – Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Jamga and a new broad-gauge line between Bichhupali – Jhartarbha.
These will cater to the increased traffic demands as a result of rapid industrial development in the steel, power & mining sectors in Odisha.