Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the modern indigenously designed and manufactured Vande Bharat Express trains is a reflection of the fast progress of the country on the development path.
It was also a matter of pride that the eighth train set was being launched between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam, the second Vande Bharat being flagged off within a fortnight, he pointed out, in a virtual address after waving the green flag from New Delhi for the latest Vande Bharat train to start its maiden journey towards Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
“It is befitting that the new train, which is a true example of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ ,is being launched on the occasion of Makara Sankranthi and Army Day. I compliment and congratulate the people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as the train brings them closer and will also reduce the travel time between both the cities,” said the Prime Minister who started his speech with “Namaskarams”.
The ‘Vande Bharat Abhiyan’ was developing fast across the nation with over 40 lakh passengers having travelled in the seven Vande Bharat trains running across the country. It is the train of the country. The speed of train connectivity will help the common people of Secunderabad, Warangal, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam besides aiding in the socio-economic development of the region, said the PM.
His government has been giving lot of focus towards transforming railways in terms of modern trains, safe travel, electrification, new lines, freight corridors, redevelopment of stations and so on and more changes will be visible in the next few years.
“We have brought about the transformation when people had given up on railways showing any improvement without giving excuses of budget constraints or losses in the last eight years. Public transport is being given a fillip with two dozen metro rail projects coming up and futuristic systems like the regional rapid transit system being developed. Ease of living is being taken up along with ease of doing business,” said Mr. Modi.
Telangana’s budget outlay for 2022-23 is ₹3,048 crore, almost 12 times more as compared to the budget allocation made during the year 2014-15, which was ₹258 crore only, he pointed out and said new lines and electrification has been expedited. Similarly, the Centre had strengthened rail infrastructure in A.P. and improved rail infrastructure and connectivity.
Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw (IT & Railways), G. Kishan Reddy (Tourism, Culture & Development of Northeast), Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan and others were present at platform 10 of Secunderabad station bedecked for the occasion with a traditional music band playing for the launch. Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali, Minister for Animal Husbandry T Srinivas Yadav, TS BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar and other senior leaders were also present at the station for the train’s maiden run in the Telugu States.
For the inaugural run carrying Railway officials, supporting staff and mediapersons, the train stopped at all medium stations en route where people with women and children thronged to take selfies, videos on mobiles or wave the national flag with some enthusiastic persons shouting patriotic slogans.
Dr. Soundarajan said people can expect more modernised train services in the next few years while Mr. Vaishnaw said the indigenously designed semi-high speed train is the first state-of-the-art train exclusively for day journey available between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam. The Secunderabad station will be developed along with 34 stations across TS, he said. Mr. Kishan Reddy thanked the PM and Railways Minister for allotting the new train to the Telugu States. Rajya Sabha MP K. Laxman, Railway Board CEO Anil Kumar Lahoti, SCR GM AK Jain and other top officials were present.