Senior citizens prefer the train for visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Katra and various other pilgrim centres including Varanasi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, hit out at the previous governments, saying their thought process was outdated while crediting his government with bringing about positive changes to meet the aspirations of the people.
”The previous governments considered speed as a luxury, and scale as a risk. Our government has changed this trend. We consider speed as the aspiration and scale as the power of India,” he said at a public meeting in Bengaluru after launching a series of infrastructure projects, including the Vande Bharat Express and the Bharat Gaurav Kashi Darshan train.
Modi also inaugurated Terminal 2 of the Kempegowda International Airport and unveiled a 108-feet bronze statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda.
India, he said, was working on a completely different level, be it governance or the growth of physical and digital infrastructure. Such positive changes were beyond imagination before 2014.
Talking about his vision of a developed India, the PM said that connectivity between cities would play a crucial role and it was also the need of the hour.
On the Vande Bharat Express, Modi said it was not just a train but the identity of a New India. “Vande Bharat Express is a symbol that India has now left the days of stagnation behind. We are moving with a goal for the total transformation of India Railways,” he said.
The PM said that today Karnataka got the first ‘Made in India’ Vande Bharat Train connecting Chennai, the Startup capital Bengaluru and the heritage city Mysuru. “Today Bharat Gaurav Kashi Darshan Train, which will enable the people of Karnataka the ‘darshan’ of Ayodhya, Kashi and Prayagraj was also launched,” he noted.
He told the gathering that more than 400 Vande Bharat trains and Vista Dome coaches were becoming the new identity of India Railways. Dedicated freight corridors would increase the speed of freight transportation and save time. Rapid Broad Gauge conversion was bringing new areas to the railways’ map.
The PM said the new Terminal 2 of Kemepegowda Airport would add new facilities and services to boost connectivity. He pointed out that India was one of the fastest-growing markets in the world when it came to air travel and the number of passengers travelling by air was also growing rapidly.
He pointed out that there were only 70 airports in the country before 2014, but today this number has doubled to more than 140. “Airports are creating a new playing field for the expansion of businesses while also creating new employment opportunities for the youth of the nation,” he remarked.
Throwing light on the PM Gatishakti Master Plan, the PM remarked that the government made efforts to bring all the departments and agencies on a single platform and as a result, more than 1500 layers of data were being made available to different agencies. He further added that several ministries of central and state governments along with dozens of departments were coming together with the help of this platform.
Emphasis, he said, was now being laid on the multimodal infrastructure so that every medium of transport supported the other. Speaking about the National Logistics Policy, he said it would help in reducing the cost of transportation in the country.
Giving examples of BHIM UPI and Made in India 5G technology, the PM said it was the professionals of Bengaluru that have turned this distant dream into a reality. “Be it governance or the growth of physical and digital infrastructure, India is working on a completely different level”, the PM added.
Regarding India’s identity in the world of Startups, Modi said Bengaluru played a pivotal role in defining this identity. “Bengaluru is a representation of the startup spirit of India, and it is this spirit that makes the country stand out from the rest of the world,” he remarked.
The PM observed that Karnataka was reaping the benefits of the beliefs and aspirations that the entire world has shown towards India. He credited the double-engine government of Karnataka for the state’s ”tremendous growth”.