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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

After revamp, Modi hometown station now on broad gauge map

On Friday, Modi will virtually flag off a MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) train from Gandhinagar Railway Station to Varetha Railway Station in Mehsana, with a halt at Vadnagar, the PM's hometown.

Written by Vaibhav Jha | Ahmedabad |
July 15, 2021 3:51:12 am
The revamped Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat. (Express)

THE revamped Vadnagar Railway Station, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s father had a tea stall, is set for another upgrade.

On Friday, Modi will virtually flag off a MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) train from Gandhinagar Railway Station to Varetha Railway Station in Mehsana, with a halt at Vadnagar, the PM’s hometown. Besides, he will inaugurate a 55-km-long Mehsana-Varetha Gauge Converted cum Electrified Broad Gauge Line, that will also halt at Vadnagar.

A senior official of the Western Railways said the Mehsana-Varetha broad gauge section will be connected to the Ahmedabad-Jaipur-Delhi main broad gauge line at Mehsana, and the Vadnagar-Modhera-Patan heritage circuit.

“The electrification of this section will provide cleaner, greener, faster and environment-friendly transportation, which will reduce carbon footprint. Moreover, local people will get a faster and better mode of transportation and the isolated section will experience a socio-economic boom,” the official said.

Earlier, between 2017 and 2018, the Vadnagar Railway Station had got a Rs 100 crore makeover, undertaken by the Gujarat Tourism Department. The makeover included the installation of a large tea kettle at the station. The makeover followed the declaration of development of a Vadnagar-Modhera-Patan Heritage Circuit, by the Union Ministry of Culture and Gujarat Tourism Department jointly.

A senior Western Railway official pointed out, “Vadnagar will now be connected to the rest of India via broad gauge and passenger and goods trains can run seamlessly on this section.”

In 2007, excavations by the Gujarat State Archaeology Department had revealed a Buddhist monastery dating back to between 2nd and 4th Century AD at Vadnagar.

Modi often talks about Vadnagar being visited by famous Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, referring to it as Anandpura, its ancient name. He had also mentioned this when he hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Ahmedabad.

Mehsana Collector Udit Agarwal told The Indian Express, “Vadnagar is a city of world-class heritage and has a lot of tourism potential. With the electrified broad gauge line and MEMU trains, we can expect a rise in footfall of tourists and a subsequent boost to the local economy.”

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