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PM lays foundation stone and dedicates to nation multiple developmental projects worth over Rs 1,06,000 crores in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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AHMEDABAD : The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of various developmental projects worth over Rs 1,06,000 crores at Dedicated Freight Corridor’s Operation Control Centre here, on Monday. The development projects of today encompass multiple sectors including railway infrastructure, connectivity and petrochemicals. He also flagged off 10 new Vande Bharat trains. 

Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister acknowledged the lakhs of people connected to the event from more than 200 different places and said that the scale and size of today’s event cannot be matched with any other event in Railways’ history. He also congratulated Railways for this event. The Prime Minister underlined that development works for the creation of Viksit Bharat are continuously expanding with the inauguration and laying the foundation stone of multiple development projects across the country.

“In the 75 days of 2024, projects worth more than Rs 11 lakh crores have been inaugurated or foundation stones laid while projects worth Rs 7 lakh crores have been unveiled in the last 10-12 days”, the Prime Minister remarked. Noting that today’s organization is a crucial step towards accomplishing the goal of Viksit Bharat, the Prime Minister said that projects worth about Rs 1 lakh crore have been inaugurated or foundation stones laid where projects worth around Rs 85,000 crores are dedicated to railways. He also touched upon laying the foundation Stone of Petrochemicals complex of Petronet LNG at Dahej worth more than Rs 20,000 crores and informed that it will help boost hydrogen production and demand for polypropylene in the country.

Referring to the foundation stone laying of Ekta Malls in Maharashtra and Gujarat, PM Modi said that it will take India’s cottage industry and handicrafts to every corner of the country, thereby emboldening the government’s mission for Vocal for Local and strengthening the foundations of Viksit Bharat. Reiterating the young demographics of India, the Prime Minister told the nation’s youth that today’s inaugurations are for their present and today’s foundation stones guarantee their bright future. 

Referring to the incremental approach of the Railway Budgets before 2014, the Prime Minister talked about the inclusion of the Railway Budget in the General Budget that made it possible to provide railway expenditure from the General Budget. Apart from the issues of lack of punctuality, cleanliness and general amenities, the Prime Minister said that before 2014, 6 capitals of the Northeast did not have railway connectivity and there were more than 10,000 unmanned railway crossings, and only 35 percent of railway lines were electrified and railway reservations were marred by corruption and long queues. 

The Prime Minister said, “Our government has displayed the willpower to bring the railways out of those hellish conditions. Now Railways development is among the top priorities of the government.” The Prime Minister listed initiatives like a six-fold budget increase from 2014 and assured the countrymen that in the next 5 years, the transformation of railways will exceed their imagination. “This 10 year’s work is just a trailer. I have a long way to go”, he added. He informed that not only most of the states have got Vande Bharat trains but the century of Vande Bharat Trains has already been hit. Vande Bharat Network is touching 250 districts of the country.  In deference to people’s wishes, routes of Vande Bharat are being extended. 

Noting Railways’ critical role in a nation becoming developed and economically competent, the Prime Minister said, “Transformation of railway is the guarantee of Viksit Bharat.” He threw light on the transforming landscape of railways and mentioned laying railway tracks at a fast pace, redevelopment of more than 1300 railway stations, flagging off next-generation trains like Vande Bharat, NaMo Bharat and Amrit Bharat, and unveiling of modernized railway engines and coach factories. 

The Prime Minister said that under Gati Shakti Cargo Terminal Policy, construction of Cargo terminal has increased as land leasing policy has been simplified and has been made online leading to transparency. He also mentioned the establishment of Gati Shakti University. The Prime Minister continued with the modernization-related initiatives of railway and informed about the project of abolishing unmanned crossing and automatic signaling systems. He said that the country is moving towards 100 percent electrification. Solar-powered stations and Jan Aushadhi Kendras are coming up on stations. 

“The manufacturing of these railway trains, tracks and stations is creating an ecosystem of Made in India”, the Prime Minister said. He informed that Made in India locomotives and coaches are being exported to countries like Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Senegal, Myanmar and Sudan. He said that demand for Made in India semi high-speed trains would lead to the emergence of many more such factories. “Rejuvenation of railway, new investments guarantees new employment opportunities”, the Prime Minister remarked.

The Prime Minister criticized those who link these initiatives with elections. “For us, these development projects are not for forming a government but they are a mission of nation building” Next generation will not face the problem of the previous generations and ‘this is Modi’s guarantee”, he said. 

The Prime Minister presented Eastern and Western dedicated freight corridors as an example of development in the last 10 years. This separate track for goods trains improves speed and is important for agriculture, industry, export and business. In the last 10 years, this freight corridor, connecting the east and west coasts, has been almost completed. Today about 600 kilometers of freight corridor has been inaugurated, and the Operation Control Center has been inaugurated in Ahmedabad. Due to the efforts of the government, the speed of goods trains on this corridor has now more than doubled, he said. He further said that an industrial corridor is being developed in the entire corridor. Today, Railway Goods Shed, Gati Shakti Multimodal Cargo Terminal, Digital Control Station, Railway Workshop, Railway Loco Shed, and Railway Depot have also been inaugurated at many places. This will also have a very positive impact on freight transportation, he added. 

“Government’s emphasis is to make Indian Railways a medium for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local”, the Prime Minister said, informing that the products manufactured by the nation’s Vishwakarmas, handicrafts men and women self-help groups would now be sold on Railway stations under One Station One Product scheme where 1500 stalls have already opened up.

Prime Minister Modi expressed delight that Indian Railway is promoting tourism related to regional culture and faith while realizing the mantra of heritage along with development. “Today, Bharat Gaurav trains are running on Ramayana Circuit, Guru-Kripa Circuit, and Jain Yatra while Aastha special train is taking Shri Ram devotees from every corner of the country to Ayodhya”, PM Modi said, informing that around 350 Aastha trains have already run taking more than 4.5 lakh devotees for Ramlalla’s darshan in Ayodhya.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “Indian Railways will continue to move ahead at the pace of modernity. This is Modi’s guarantee.” He called upon the citizens for their cooperation to continue this celebration of development. 

Governor of Gujarat, Shri Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister for Railways, Shri Ashwini Vaisnaw were present on the occasion among others. 

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