New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): Emphasising the importance of horizontal and vertical expansion of Indian Railways, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government worked to develop railways not only as a service but as an asset.
PM Modi on Friday inaugurated several key projects of the Railways in Gujarat via video conferencing.
The Railway projects include the newly redeveloped Gandhinagar Capital Railway station, gauge converted cum electrified Mahesana - Varetha line, and the newly electrified Surendranagar - Pipavav section.
Speaking at the occasion, the Prime Minister said, "The wagon of development of New India will move forward only by running on two tracks simultaneously. One of the tracks is of modernity while the other track is for the welfare of the poor, farmers and middle class."
Prime Minister said the horizontal and vertical expansion of Railways is important for development. The new Gandhinagar Station reflects a change in terms of infrastructure. It is proof of optimum utilization of modern technology, also resulting in employment opportunities.
"Today, the image of Indian Railways. Its reputation is improving. Safety, speed, cleanliness and facilities -- all have improved in the Railways. The speed of trains will increase after the operationalization of dedicated freight corridors in the coming days," he said.
He said Railways has reached new dimensions of development and facilities. "It is the effort of the last few years that today the train is reaching the capitals of North East for the first time," he added.
The Prime Minister emphasised that major railway stations across the country are being modernised. Railway stations in tier-II and tier-III cities are also now equipped with WiFi facilities. He said that the unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge have been completely eliminated keeping safety and security at the paramount.
"The needs of 21st century India cannot be fulfilled through the ways of the 20th century. That is why Railways needed reforms with a new approach. We worked to develop Railways not only as a service but as an asset, the result of which can be clearly seen today," Prime Minister Modi stated.
On Vadnagar station, he said, "Today Vadnagar has also become a part of this expansion. I have so many memories attached to Vadnagar station. The new station looks really attractive. With the construction of this new broad gauge line, the Vadnagar-Modhera-Patan heritage circuit is now connected with better rail service."
According to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the upgradation of Gandhinagar Capital Railway station has been done at a cost of Rs 71 crore. The station has been provided with world-class amenities, at par with modern airports. Special Care has been taken to make it a Divyang friendly station by providing it with a special ticket booking counter, ramps, lifts and dedicated parking space.
The complete building is designed and provided with Green Building rating features. The state-of-the-art external facade will have daily theme based lighting with 32 themes. The station will also house a five-star hotel.
The Mahesana-Varetha Gauge conversion of 55 km has been completed at a cost of Rs 293 crore alongwith the electrification work at a cost of Rs 74 crore. It has a total of 10 stations with four newly developed station buildings namely Visnagar, Vadnagar, Kheralu and Varetha.
Electrification of Surendranagar-Pipavav Section has been completed at a total cost of Rs 289 crore. The project will provide seamless freight movement from Palanpur, Ahmedabad and other parts of the country upto Pipavav Port without any change of traction. It will also decongest Ahmedabad, Viramgam and Surendranagar Yards due to avoidance of detentions for loco change over. (ANI)