The allocation for building railway infrastructure in Gujarat has seen over 300 per cent rise during the two years of Narendra Modi government, said Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu as he laid foundation stones for seven projects in Mehsana on Tuesday.
“The allocation to railways in Gujarat between 2009 and 2014 during the UPA’s rule was just Rs 588 crore. This allocation has increased to Rs 2467 crore in the last two years. This is more than 300 per cent jump,” said Prabhu, while addressing a gathering on the premises of Mehsana railway station.
The minister, while listing out a number of new projects in the last two years, said, “We have also electrified 3,000 km rail tracks in Gujarat alone after coming to power… Currently over 35 new projects worth Rs 24,240 crore are in progress in the state… The development in rail infrastructure is needed to attract more industries to an industrial state like Gujarat.”
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On Tuesday as Somabhai Modi, elder brother of Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on from the dais, the railway minister in the presence of BJP MPs Kirit Solanki and Jayashreeben Patel laid the foundation stones for seven projects — 57 km gauge conversion between Mehsana and Taranga Hill, Miyagam and Samakhaliya (96 km), Bhuj and Naliya (101 km), laying of 7km of third line between Vatva and Ahmedabad, new line between Somnath and Kodinar (37km), doubling of 116 km between Surendranagar and Rajkot and a 23 km new line between Modasa and Shyamlaji.
He pointed that both Gandhinagar and Surat were being developed as “world-class” railway stations. “This year, tenders for both these stations will be issued and once the work is completed in 2-3 years, you will wonder if this an airport or a railway station,” Prabhu said.
The minister compared the performance of two terms of Manmohan Singh-led UPA government with that of the two-year rule of the Narendra Modi government. “During UPA’s rule between 2004-09, they on an average built 1,477 km rail tracks every year. Between 2009 and 2014, this was 1528 km. Our government in 2014-15 laid 1,983 km of new tracks and in 2015-16 it was 2828 km. This is double of UPA’s average in 2004-09,” Prabhu said.
Prabhu said while the UPA government laid 4.3 km new tracks every day, the number “almost doubled” to 7.8 km during the Modi rule. “We plan to take this to 13 km in 2017-18 and 19 km in 2018-19,” he added.