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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor, station revamp top Ashwini Vaishnaw’s agenda

The high-speed trains project is currently staring at a minimum of five years of delay before the stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad can be commissioned.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi |
July 9, 2021 10:39:41 am
Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw takes charge at the Rail Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

High-speed trains, a dedicated freight corridor, station re-development and upgradation of the signalling systems will be the main focus of newly inducted Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Vaishnaw will be taking stock of these projects with officials preparing a presentation for the same.

“Railway is a major part of PM Modi’s vision. He believes railways can transform the lives of the people and everyone, from the common man to farmers and the poor, should be benefitted by it. I will work to fulfil that vision,” Viashnaw told news agency ANI after taking charge at Rail Bhawan on Thursday morning.

The high-speed trains project is currently staring at a minimum of five years of delay before the stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad can be commissioned.

The dedicated freight corridor, however, has seen some movement with several stretches getting commissioned in the last one year. However, it was supposed to be completed by 2022.

The station redevelopment project is currently at different stages in different areas — from issuing tenders to picking private players. The matter is being overseen by the empowered group of secretaries headed by NITI Aayog’s CEO.

The signalling development project includes plans for the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System and its projected rollout. Modernization of the signalling system is proposed to be taken up on high-density routes, including the golden quadrilateral and the golden diagonal.

Bureaucrat-entrepreneur-turned-politician Ashwini Vaishnaw is a former IAS officer of the 1994-batch. He has handled responsibilities including his contribution to the public-private partnership (PPP) framework in infrastructure. He has also held leadership roles across major global companies such as General Electric and Siemens.

Vaishnaw has done his MBA from the Wharton School, Pennsylvania University, and M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. He will also hold two other important portfolios of Communications and Electronics and Information Technology.

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