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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Railways can be turned into centre of economic activity using its assets: PM

“Railway stations should not just be places for transit of trains. It should become centres for economic activity… Imagine, the network of Indian Railways and the assets it has. There is a lot of hidden potential,” said the PM.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
July 16, 2021 11:32:52 pm
Modi, NEP 2021, One year of NEPModi will also launch multiple initiatives in the education sector, including the Academic Bank of Credit. File.

Inaugurating India’s first redeveloped railway station in Gandhinagar on Friday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the assets of the Indian Railways can be used to turn it into a centre for economic activity.

“This modern Gandhinagar railway station is also big proof that the assets of railways can be put to good use to turn it into a centre of economic activity. Using modern technology, a hotel has been constructed on top of the railway tracks in such a way that the moving train can be seen, but it’s vibrations cannot be felt. The quantum of land is the same as what was present earlier, but it’s use has doubled… What can be a better location that the spot where the train passes,” said Modi while virtually addressing the gathering at “Gandhinagar capital railway station” where Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were present.

Modi said there should be “optimum utilisation of land” at railway stations. “Railway stations should not just be places for transit of trains. It should become centres for economic activity… Imagine, the network of Indian Railways and the assets it has. There is a lot of hidden potential ,” he said after inaugurating five different projects including a redeveloped Rs 790 crore Gandhinagar railway station having a five-star hotel.

Stating that the redeveloped station at Gandhinagar “depicts a change in mindset related to infrastructure,” the prime minister said the “experiment” will bring about “a definitive change in Indian Railways.”

Gandhinagar capital railway station is also the first in the Indian railway network to have a dedicated prayer hall for “all faiths.”

Modi also pointed out that the image of Indian Railways has been changing and once the Dedicated Freight Corridor begins, the speed of trains operating in the country will increase further.

“Today service, cleanliness, safety and speed of trains in Indian Railways have increased. Be it modernisation of infrastructure or new modern trains, such attempts have helped increased speed of trains. In the coming days, as soon as the Dedicated Freight Corridor starts, the speeds of trains will increase further.” Modi said the installation of over two lakh bio-toilets have contributed to the cleanliness of railway platforms, while the elimination of unmanned railway crossings have added to safety of the rail network.

Pointing to the redeveloped Vadnagar railway station which is a part of his hometown, Modi said, “A lot of my memories are connected with Vadnagar railway station. The new station is looking really attractive. Due to this new railway line Modera-Vadnagar- Patan heritage circuit will be connected with better rail network. It has now got direct connectivity with Ahmedabad-Jaipur-Delhi line.”

Talking about the Gandhinagar-Varanasi super-fast express which was one of the two trains flagged off on Friday, Modi said, “The train attempts to link land of Somnath, with the land of Vishwanath.” The other train flagged off was a MEMU between Gandhinagar and Varetha which links Vadnagar.

The prime minister also said that the aquatic gallery — which was one of the three projects unveiled in Gujarat Science City at Ahmedabad —was one of the biggest in Asia. He said the Robo Cafe which is part of the new Robotic Gallery will attract visitors keen to seen robots dressed as waiters serving customers. A Nature Park was the third attraction that Modi unveiled at the Science City.

Modi also inaugurated the electrified broad-gauge section between Mehsana and Varetha that was earlier a meter-gauge line. He also dedicated the 266 kilometres electrified broad gauge line between Pipavav port and Surendranagar which can carry double stack containers.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah who also attended the event virtually said the make-over of the Gandhinagar railway station was happening after 35 years. Rupani while physically address the event said Gandhinagar since last several years had suffered from proper railway connectivity. “Gujarat has suffered injustice with regard to railway services, but PM Modi brought in new railway projects and helped in development of the state,” he said.

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