On the second day of his visit to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today flagged off the Gandhinagar-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express and inaugurated Phase-I of the Ahmedabad Metro project in the poll-bound state, saying it was necessary to continuously modernise Indian cities with changing times.
He accused previous central governments of doing negligible effort to clear traffic jams in the cities and spoke about recent monumental changes in the thought process about infrastructure development in the country. “There was a time when announcements regarding infrastructure were made keeping in mind the electoral gains and losses only. The taxpayer’s money was used only for political interests,” he said. The double-engine government, Modi claimed, has changed this thinking.
The PM travelled from the Gandhinagar station to the Kalupur station and inspected the coaches of the Vande Bharat Express 2.0 and took stock of the onboard facilities. He also inspected the control centre of the locomotive engine of the train.
He also interacted with his co-passengers, including those from the family members of the railway’s staff, women entrepreneurs and researchers, and youngsters. He also interacted with workers, engineers, and other staff who toiled to make Vande Bharat trains a shining success.
Vande Bharat Express 2.0 between Gandhinagar and Mumbai is going to be a game-changer and will boost connectivity between the two business hubs of India. It will enable business owners from Gujarat to travel to Mumbai and vice versa without bearing the brunt of high-cost airline tickets while availing facilities that are available on air. One-way travel time of Vande Bharat Express 2.0 from Gandhinagar to Mumbai is estimated at around five and a half hours.
Later, Modi inaugurated Phase-I of the Ahmedabad Metro project at a public function at the Ahmedabad Education Society in Ahmedabad. He also flagged off the Ahmedabad Metro rail project and took a metro ride from the Kalupur station to the Doordarshan Kendra metro station.
Addressing a gathering, Modi said India of the 21st century was going to get a new momentum from the cities of the country. “With the changing times, it is necessary to continuously modernise our cities with the changing needs,” he said.
He pointed out that the system of transport in the city should be modern and should have seamless connectivity where one mode of transport supported the other. In pursuant to this thinking, a huge investment was being made in the urban infrastructure.
In the last eight years, in more than two dozen cities either Metro has started or work was in an advanced stage. Dozens of smaller cities have been connected via air connectivity and the UDAN scheme. Similarly, railway stations were undergoing transformation.
The PM underlined the role of cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Indore, and Jaipur in ensuring the developed status in the coming 25 years.