PM Modi flags off Secunderabad-Vizag Vande Bharat train service, hails its ‘Made in India’ concept
Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday virtually flagged-off the Vande Bharat train service between Secunderabad in Telangana and the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti.
As the event coincided with the Army Day, the Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the serving and retired personnel.
“Vande Bharat is a true replica of India which is coming out of the mentality of dependence and moving towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance),” the PM said before flagging off the train.
Noting that the new trains will connect the culture of Telangana and AP, Modi said Vande Bharat symbolises new India’s resolution and capabilities.
“Vande Bharat is a symbol of New India’s capability and resolve. It is a symbol of that India which has chosen the path of rapid development,” the Prime Minister said.
“This Vande Bharat Express symbolises that India which expects everything to be the best. This Vande Bharat Express symbolises India which wants to give better services to every citizen of its,” he said. It was designed and made in India, he pointed out.
This train will be the eighth Vande Bharat Express to be introduced by Indian Railways and will be the first one connecting the two Telugu-speaking states. It will be covering a distance of around 700 km between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam in eight and a half hours.
The way all important days and festivals connect the country, Indian trains also with their motion and journey give opportunity to join and understand, Modi said.
The PM said seven Vande Bharat trains (already introduced) have covered the cumulative distance of 23 lakh kilometres, equivalent to 58 rounds of earth. More than 40 lakh passengers have travelled in Vande Bharat trains so far.
He also pointed out that the poor image of railways and a fatalist approach to the dismal situation changed when with good and honest intentions, these problems were addressed and in the past eight years, this is the mantra that transformed Indian railways.
The Prime Minister said today traveling by Indian Railway is becoming a pleasant experience. Many railway stations reflect the image of modern India. “Work done in the last seven to eight years will transform the Indian Railway in the coming seven to eight years”, he said.
Claiming that prior to 2014, Telangana had a budget of less than Rs 250 crore for the Railways, he said today it has increased to more than Rs 3,000 crore.
As the event coincided with the Army Day, the PM paid rich tributes to the serving and retired personnel. Hailing their commitment in protecting the country and its borders, Modi said their valour was ‘unparalelled.’ Every Indian was proud of their army, he added.
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said this train is a Sankranti gift by the Prime Minister to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Referring to Modi government’s mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Prayas’, Ashwini Vaishnaw said adding this is possible in this age and time. “When everybody wants to divide, Modi ji is uniting everybody. This is the time to develop the country… This is the only time we can do it”.
He further said Secunderabad railway station will be developed into a world-class station on the lines of those in Germany, Japan and France. Modi ji has sanctioned Rs 720 crore for Secunderabad station. In addition, 34 railway stations across Telangana are going to be redeveloped shortly, he said.
According to railway sources, the regular services of the newly launched service would start from January 16 and the bookings commenced on Saturday.
The Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Vande Bharat Express (20833) will start at 05.45 AM and reach Secunderabad at 2.15 PM.
It will depart from Secunderabad at 3 PM and reach Visakhapatnam at 11.30 PM. In between, the train will stop at Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Khammam and Warangal in both the directions, South Central Railway (SCR) officials said.
The train comprises 14 AC Chair Car Coaches and two Executive AC Chair Car Coaches with a capacity of 1,128 passengers. It will provide the fastest travelling facility between these two stations and has exclusive reserved sitting accommodation.
The train is manufactured with indigenous technology, equipped with modern features and enhanced comfort. It has automatic sliding doors, provided with reclining seats in all classes and rotating seats in executive class.
Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy also spoke. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and a couple of state ministers including Home Minister Mahmood Ali were present at the Secunderabad railway station here during the inauguration.