Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually flagged off Assam’s first Vande Bharat Express via video conferencing on Monday.
The Vande Bharat Express will connect Guwahati with New Jalpaiguri Guwahati and the journey will take 5 hrs 30 mins.
The Prime Minister also dedicated 182 Route kilometers of newly electrified sections and inaugurated a newly constructed DEMU/MEMU shed at Lumding in Assam.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that today is a huge day for the connectivity of the Northeast as three development works are being accomplished together.
Firstly, the Prime Minister elaborated, Northeast is getting its first Vande Bharat Express today where this is the third Vande Bharat Express which connects West Bengal. Secondly, approximately 425 kilometers of railway tracks in Assam and Meghalaya have been electrified. And, thirdly, a new DEMU/MEMU shed has been inaugurated in Lumding in Assam.
PM Modi congratulated the citizens of the entire Northeast along with Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal on this momentous occasion.
He said that Guwahati -New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat train will strengthen the centuries-old ties between Assam and West Bengal.
This will increase ease of travel and provide huge benefits to students and will increase job opportunities arising out of tourism and business.
He said that this Vande Bharat will provide connectivity to Maa Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga, Manas National Park, and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Furthermore, the Prime Minister pointed out that it will enhance travel and tourism in Shillong, Cherrapunji in Meghalaya and Tawang and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
Throwing light on the 9 years of the NDA government in power, the Prime Minister remarked that the nation has witnessed numerous accomplishments and unprecedented development towards a new India in these years.
He highlighted the newly inaugurated magnificent Parliament House of independent India and said that it will connect the thousand-year-old democratic history of India with its prosperous democracy of the future.
“Our government has prioritized the welfare of the poor”, the Prime Minister remarked as he gave examples of houses, toilets, tapped water connections, electricity, gas pipelines, the development of AIIMS, infrastructure boost to roads, railways, airways, airways, waterways, ports and mobile connectivity.
Prime Minister said that the biggest beneficiaries of the infrastructure push have been the states of Eastern and Northeastern India.
He said that earlier, the people of the Northeast remained deprived of even the basic facilities for decades. He said that a large number of villages and families which did not have electricity, telephone or good rail road air connectivity until 9 years ago were from the Northeast.
“The scale and speed of the development works of the government has been unprecedented”, he remarked as he noted that new rail lines are being laid in the Northeast at three times the pace than before and the doubling of rail lines is taking place 9 times faster than before.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the work for doubling of rail lines began in the last 9 years and the government is working towards saturation at a very fast pace.
The Prime Minister credited the pace of development which led to many remote areas of the Northeast being connected with railways.
“Indian Railway has become a medium of connecting hearts, societies and opportunities to the people along with speed”, the Prime Minister remarked as he highlighted the first transgender tea stall at Guwahati Railway Station.
He stated that it is an attempt to give a life of respect to those who expect better behaviour from society.