Ways of 20th century can not serve today's India: Prime Minister

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Ahmedabad, Jul 16 (PTI) Needs of the 21st century India can not be fulfilled by the ways of the previous century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while inaugurating several projects in Gujarat including the redeveloped Gandhinagar railway station on Friday.

Among the works Modi inaugurated via video link was the redeveloped Vadnagar railway station where, in his younger days, he helped his father run a tea stall.

Stressing the need to reform the railways, he said the country requires 'two-tracked development'.

“Two-tracked development is required for this country, one is modernization and another is the development of the poor, farmers and the middle classes,” he said.

'The requirements of the 21st century India cannot be fulfilled by the ways of the 20th century, so the railways need reforms,' Modi said. The aim of his government was not just to build concrete structures 'but we are building infrastructure that has character,” he said. The government has started developing the railways as an asset and not only as a service provided to the people, the prime minister said.

“Capacity building and horizontal expansion are needed in the railways along with a vertical expansion. Railway stations should be developed like airports and atop it hotels can be built. Gandhinagar railway station is the best example of it,” Modi said.

A 7,400 sq mt five-storey luxury hotel with 318 rooms has been built atop the Gandhinagar station at a cost of Rs 790 crore.

The prime minister had performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the redevelopment of the railway station and construction of the hotel in January 2017.

The PM also virtually inaugurated three new attractions -- an aquatic gallery, robotic gallery and nature park -- at Science City in Ahmedabad. He also flagged off a new weekly superfast train between Gandhinagar and Varanasi (his Lok Sabha constituency) and a Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) train service connecting the state capital Gandhinagar and Varetha in Mahesana district.

Modi also dedicated the 54km newly electrified Mehsana-Varetha broad gauge rail line which passes through Vadnagar, his hometown, and a 266 km stretch between Surendranagar and Pipavav stations, said Dipak Kumar Jha, Divisional Railway Manager, Ahmedabad.

The PM also inaugurated the Vadnagar Railway Station's building which has been revamped at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore and given a heritage look in view of its historical importance.

The Mehsana-Veretha meter gauge line has been converted into electrified broad gauge line at a total project cost of Rs 367 crore. PTI PJT PD VT KRK KRK

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