PM Modi flags off first Vande Bharat Express of Assam

29 May, 2023 | Nishtha Gupta

Vande Bharat Express National

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Assam's inaugural Vande Bharat Express, establishing a link between Guwahati & West Bengal.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Assam’s inaugural Vande Bharat Express, establishing a link between Guwahati in Assam and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Additionally, the Prime Minister dedicated the newly electrified sections of New Bongaigaon-Dudhnoi-Mendipather and Guwahati-Chaparmukh to the nation. Furthermore, he also officially opened the new workshop for trains, the DEMU/MEMU shed, located in Lumding.

The newly launched Vande Bharat Express introduces a premium semi-high-speed train service that is aesthetically designed and well-equipped with full air conditioning. It establishes a convenient connection between Guwahati in Assam and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, covering a distance of 411 km in just 5 hours and 30 minutes. 

This remarkable reduction in travel time significantly surpasses the current fastest train option available. Operating six days a week, the Vande Bharat Express brings a new era of rail travel, akin to the experience of air travel, to the people of the northeast region. 

Passengers will enjoy both comfort and speed during their journey, making it particularly beneficial for IT professionals, businessmen, students, and tourists. This initiative by Indian Railways fulfils its ambitious plan to elevate the standards and velocity of rail travel throughout the country.

In a pointed remark aimed at previous administrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Monday that the northeastern region had been deprived of development for an extended period.

Specifically referring to the railway budget prior to 2014, he highlighted the significant increase in funding for the North East, which now stands at Rs 10,000 crore, representing a fourfold growth. 

Speaking via video conferencing during the inauguration of the inaugural run of the Northeast’s first Vande Bharat Express train in Assam, PM Modi emphasized that the earlier governments had failed to prioritize the development of the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the substantial growth in the railway budget allocated to the North East, stating that it has increased from Rs 2,500 crore before 2014 to over Rs 10,000 crore now, representing a fourfold increase. 

He emphasized that this significant investment will result in the connection of all parts of the Northeast through the broad-gauge network, with a total expenditure of Rs 1 lakh crore dedicated to this purpose.

Furthermore, PM Modi expressed that the past nine years have witnessed unparalleled achievements for India, with the government placing the highest priority on the welfare of the poor. 

He emphasized that the government’s focus on infrastructure development is aimed at benefiting all individuals equally, without any discrimination. According to PM Modi, such infrastructure construction reflects true social justice and secularism in promoting the well-being of all citizens.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the positive impact of the Vande Bharat Express on business and tourism in the region. By connecting important destinations such as the Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga Sanctuary, Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam, Shillong and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, the train service is expected to enhance economic activity and attract more tourists.

PM Modi stated that three projects related to improving connectivity in the North-East are currently underway. The North East is now benefiting from the introduction of the first indigenous Vande Bharat Express. Additionally, the electrification work on approximately 425 km of railway tracks in Assam and Meghalaya has been successfully completed.

Furthermore, PM Modi acknowledged that India’s infrastructure development is receiving recognition worldwide. He emphasized that this infrastructure not only improves the quality of life for people, but also generates employment opportunities. He highlighted that infrastructure serves as a crucial link for overall development and growth in the country.

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