Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off new eight trains connecting Gujarat’s Kevadia, which houses Statue of Unity, to several other destinations of the country and said this is a beautiful picture of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. “This is probably for the first time in the history of railways that so many trains from different locations of the country get flagged off to the same destination,” PM Modi said.
“More visitors are coming to the Statue of Unity than the Statue of Liberty. Kevadia is not a small place any more. It will become one of the most attractive tourist spots of the world,” the Prime Minister said. In future, over 1 lakh people will come to visit Kevadiya every day, PM Modi said quoting a survey.
Paying his tributes to Bharat Ratna MGR on his birth anniversary, PM Modi said, “One of the trains flagged off for Kevadia today originates at Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station. His life was dedicated to the service of the poor.”
Taking a journey down memory lane, Modi said once he used to take a narrow-gauge train, which was so slow that one could get off the train at any time and then again ride the train. “If you walk along with the train, sometimes you will be faster. I used to enjoy this too when I was a regular passenger; I spent a lot of time at Narmada for a considerable period of my life. That line is being converted into broad gauge now,” he said.
Terming the railways’ modernisation projects taken up in the last few years as ‘significant’, PM Modi said, “After Independence, the railways worked only to update the older system. Hence modernisation work was not taken up.”
The new trains will connect Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Reqa, Chennai, Pratap Nagar to Kevadiya. Apart from these, PM Modi on Sunday inaugurated several other railway projects in Kevadiya, including Dabhoi-Chandid gauge converted broad gauge rail line, Chandod-Kevadita new broad gauge rail line, Pratapnagar-Kevadiya newly electrified section, new station buildings of Dabhoi Junction, Chandod and Kevadiya.
Jan Shatabdi Express between Ahmedabad and Kevadia will have Vistadome coaches.
Railways minister Piyush Goyal congratulated PM Modi on the beginning of the vaccination drive and said PM Modi’s leadership has added speed to India’s development.
“For us, the Statue of Unity is not just a statue. It symbolises unity and the new trains will connect Kevadia to all corners of the country,” Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said adding that the new projects will also help uplift the lives of the tribals living in Kevadia.