Taking a jibe at the previous governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the people of the northeast were devoid of development for a very long time.
Referring to the railway budget before 2014, he said that the budget allocated for North East now is Rs 10,000 crore which is four times the growth.
Addressing the inaugural run of Northeast’s first Vande Bharat Express train in Assam, via video conferencing, PM Modi said, “Northeast people were devoid of development for a long time by earlier governments.”
“Before 2014, Railway’s budget for North East was Rs 2,500 crore. Now it is more Rs 10,000 crore, which is 4 times growth. All parts of the Northeast will soon be connected via the broad-gauge network. Rs 1 lakh crore is being spent on the same,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the last 9 years have been of unprecedented achievements for India, and the government has given the highest priority to the welfare of the poor.
“The last 9 years have been of unprecedented achievements for India, of building a new India. After coming to power, our government gave the highest priority to the welfare of the poor. Infrastructure is for all, equally, without discrimination. That’s why this infrastructure construction is also true social justice in a way, true secularism,” said PM Modi.
He said the Vande Bharat Express will boost business and tourism by connecting key destinations such as Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga Sanctuary, Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam, Shillong and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Three works related to the connectivity of North East are going on. North East is getting the first Made in India Vande Bharat. This is the third Vande Bharat connecting West Bengal and electrification work on about 425 km of track in Assam and Meghalaya has been completed,” said PM Modi.
“Today India’s infrastructure development is being appreciated by the world. This infrastructure is making lives easier, creating employment opportunities and is the link to development and growth,” he added.
By pressing the remote button, the Prime Minister also dedicated New Bongaigaon–Dudhnoi–Mendipather and Guwahati–Chaparmukh newly electrified sections to the nation. He further inaugurated a new DEMU/MEMU (workshop for trains) shed at Lumding here.
It is the first of its kind premium semi-high speed aesthetically designed, well-equipped fully Air Conditioner service between Guwahati in Assam and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. The frequency of the train will be five days a week. There will be no service of this train on Tuesday.
The train is equipped with ‘KAVACH, the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System with optimum reliability. Advanced state-of-the-art suspension system ensures smoothness on move in the train.
Green footprint plans have been prioritized by dispensing with power cars and saving about 30 per cent of electricity with the advanced regenerative braking system.
The braking system is electro-pneumatic with disc brakes mounted directly on wheel disks, significantly reducing braking distance. Signal exchange lights on the coaches enable a hassle-free exchange of signal with wayside stations when the train is on the move. Superior floodproofing for under-slung electrical equipment is done to enable withstand floods up to a height of 650 mm.
This energy-efficient train has a faster turnaround time in comparison to others.