Delhi/Puri, May 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express, the first for Odisha, at Puri railway station through video conferencing.
Prime Minister also the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation, several railway projects worth more than Rs 8,000 crore in Odisha via video conferencing.
The projects include laying the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Puri and Cuttack railway stations, dedication of 100% electrification of the rail network in Odisha, doubling of the Sambalpur-Titlagarh rail line, a new broad gauge rail line between Angul – Sukinda; the third line connecting Manoharpur – Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Jamga and a new broad-gauge line between Bichhupali – Jhartarbha.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said, “India’s speed and progress can be seen whenever a Vande Bharat Train runs from one place to another.”
“Be it traveling from Kolkata to Puri for darshan or the other way round, the travel time will now be reduced to only six and half hours, thereby saving time, giving rise to business opportunities and providing new opportunities for the youth,” said Modi.
The train will pass through Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, and Balasore districts in Odisha and Paschim Medinipur, and Purba Medinipur districts in West Bengal.
Referring to the indigenous origins of Vande Bharat Trains, the Prime Minister mentioned that India has developed technology like 5G and vaccines during the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said that this policy of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is benefitting those States, which lagged behind in development.
“In 10 years before 2014, only 20 km of Railway Lines were laid annually in the state, while in the year 2022-23, 120 km long lines were laid in just one year. Long pending projects like the Khurda Bolangir line, and the Haridaspur-Paradip line, are being completed rapidly,” said Modi.
Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan were present on the occasion among others.