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J&K's development has begun with the launch of Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express: Amit Shah

The Vande Bharat Express at the New Delhi Railway Station on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express is a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah after flagging off the train.

The Vande Bharat Express at the New Delhi Railway Station on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express is a big gift for Jammu and Kashmir’s development, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah after flagging off the train.   | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

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J&K will be one of the most developed regions of the country in 10 years, says the Union Home Minister

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that Jammu & Kashmir would see huge development in the next decade.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a Vande Bharat Express train that will connect Delhi with the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu through the Katra railway station. Accompanied by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Cabinet colleagues Jitendra Singh and Harsh Vardhan, Mr. Shah flagged off the train from the New Delhi railway station.

Recalling the role of the Swadeshi movement during British rule, Mr. Shah said the coaches of the new train were “made in India.”

The Minister lauded the government’s move to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir. “Every Indian had a feeling that [Article] 370 should go. The Narendra Modi government did it. The special status was the biggest impediment in the development of J&K... Kashmir will be one of the most developed States in the next 10 years....the process has begun with the inauguration of Vande Bharat,” he said.

Mahatma’s use of railways

Mahatma Gandhi used the railway network to connect with people and gain Independence. “Bapu used railways to connect to people. During one such journey, when he saw a woman without proper clothes, he donated his clothes and vowed to lead a frugal life till he attained prosperity for his country.... the Independence struggle got momentum as he used railway journeys to send his message across. Just like Independence, railways will be an important tool in achieving the $5 trillion economy goal of Prime Minister Modi,” he said.

The train will cut the travel time between Delhi and Katra to eight hours from the previous 12 hours.

The New Delhi-Katra Vande Bharat Express (train number 22439) will depart from the New Delhi Railway Station at 6 a.m. to reach Katra at 2 p.m. En route, it will halt at the Ambala Cantonment, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi for two minutes each.

On the return journey the same day, the train (number 22440) will leave from the Katra station at 3 p.m. to reach New Delhi at 11 p.m.

The train, also known as Train 18, will ply on all days of the week barring Tuesday.

The first Vande Bharat Express that runs between Delhi and Varanasi was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February.

The train has windows with a special provision to protect against pelting of stones and a cattle guard in the front to prevent damage in case of cattle being run over.

To avoid damage due to stray cattle, the train has been equipped with a sturdy aluminium-clad nose cover.

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai has added a slew of modern features such as adjustable seats, improved wash basins, automatic doors and WiFi to the coaches.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 7:19:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/amit-shah-flags-off-delhi-katra-vande-bharat-express/article29582491.ece

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