The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express from Dehradun to Delhi via video conferencing today. He also dedicated to the nation, newly electrified rail sections and declared Uttarakhand a 100% electric traction state.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone from Uttarakhand for the inaugural Vande Bharat Express between Dehradun and Delhi and said the train will connect the nation’s capital to the Dev Bhoomi of Uttrakhand. He informed that the travel time between the two cities will be further reduced and the onboard facilities will make for a pleasant travel experience.
Throwing light on his three-nation tour to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia, the Prime Minister underlined that the world is looking at India with high hopes. “India has become a ray of hope for the world when it comes to strengthening the economy and fighting poverty”, the Prime Minister said. He also touched upon India’s tackling of the Coronavirus pandemic and the world’s largest vaccination campaign carried out in the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that beautiful states like Uttarakhand should make the most of today’s situation when people from around the world want to come to India. Shri Modi underlined that the Vande Bharat train is also going to help Uttarakhand in taking full advantage of this opportunity.
The Prime Minister recalled his visit to Kedarnath and remembered his spontaneous statement that ‘This decade is going to be the decade of Uttarakhand’. He praised the development push of the state while keeping the law and order situation strong. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that ‘Devbhoomi will be the center of the spiritual consciousness of the world.’ He said that we will have to work to realize this potential. He mentioned that the number of pilgrims for the Char Dham Yatra keeps on breaking old records. He also talked about the devotees coming for the darshan of Baba Kedar, Kumbh/Ardh Kumbh at Haridwar and Kanwar Yatra. He said that not many states have this number of devotees arriving and it is a gift as well as a monumental task. “Double engine government is working with double power and double speed to make this ‘Bhagirath’ task easy”, he added.
The Prime Minister said that the government’s emphasis is on the ‘Navratna’, 9 gems of development. First Ratna, he said, is Rs 1300 crore rejuvenation work at Kedarnath-Badrinath Dham. Second, Rs 2500 crore Ropeway project at Gaurikund-Kedarnath and Gobind Ghat- Hemkunt Sahib. Third, the renovation of ancient temples of Kumaon under Manas Khand Mandir Mala programme. Fourth, the promotion of Homestay in the entire state where more than 4000 homestays have been registered in the state. Fifth, the development of 16 ecotourism destinations. Sixth, expansion of health services in Uttarakhand. AIIMS satellite center is coming up in Udham Singh Nagar. Seventh, Rs 2000 cr Tehri Lake Development Project. Eighth, the development of Haridwar Rishikesh as the capital of Yoga and adventure tourism and finally, the Tanakpur Bageshwar Rail Line.
He said these Navratnas are being consolidated with a new push to infrastructure development in the state. Work is going on at a rapid pace on Rs 12,000 cr Char Dham Mahapariyojana, he informed. Delhi Dehradun Expressway will make the journey faster and easier. He also talked about the Ropeway connectivity in Uttarakhand. “Parvat Mala Project is going to change the state’s fortune in the coming days”, he said. He remarked that the Rs 16,000 cr Rishikesh-Karanprayag Rail Project will be completed in 2-3 years. The Project will make a big part of Uttarakhand accessible and will push investment, industry and employment.