Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the newly Gauge Converted Asarva-Himmatnagar-Udaipur & Lunidhar-Jetalsar Broad Gauge section at a function held at Asarva on 31st October, 2022. Ashwini Vaishnaw – Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Smt Darshana Jardosh, Union Minster of State for Textiles & Railways, Pradip K Parmar, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment (Govt. of Gujarat), Jagdish Panchal, Minister of State (Govt. of Gujarat), MPs Dr. Kirit Solanki, Hasmukhbhai Patel, Narhari Amin and other dignitaries were also among those present on this occasion.
According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the Indian Railways have contributed in a large way towards the multi-faceted development of the country. With a view to have a uni-gauge rail system across the country, Railways is converting the existing non Broad Gauge railway lines to Broad Gauge. Moving ahead in this direction, Western Railway has completed the Gauge Conversion work of Asarva – Himmatnagar – Udaipur and Lunidhar – Jetalsar sections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address said that the opening of the entire stretch of Ahmedabad (Asarva) – Himmatnagar – Udaipur section will be boon to many a people. This section will be a great relief to the local people residing in these areas in terms of connectivity to the rest of the country. It will also be beneficial to tourists, traders as well as the manufacturing units & industries around this region. The tiles & ceramics industries in Himmatnagar can reap the benefit of this rail project as they can transport their wares by rail to customers across the country due to seamless connectivity. This in turn will aid industrialization in the region with better connectivity to National Capital (Delhi) as well as to financial capital (Mumbai). It will further help to create additional employment opportunities. It will also be an alternate route for Ahmedabad & Delhi and will ensure faster, economical as well as eco-friendly option. This section of 299 km has been completed at a cost of Rs.2482.38 crores. The major stations on this section are Ahmedabad, Shamlaji Road, Himmatnagar, Nandol Dahegam, Dungarpur, Prantij & Udaipur.
In his address, PM also said that the newly Gauge Converted Lunidhar – Jetalsar Broad Gauge section is yet another one of the important projects which will enhance seamless connectivity. With the completion of this project, it will now provide a shorter route for Pipavav Port and Bhavnagar from Veraval & Porbandar. Also, this section has facilitated an alternate route for Ahmedabad and other parts of the nation from Veraval and Porbandar area. Further, this project will smoothen the movement of trains and enhance the freight carrying capacity on this section, thus decongesting the busy Kanalus - Rajkot - Viramgam route. Additionally, it will now facilitate seamless connectivity to Gir sanctuary, Somnath temple, Diu and Girnar hills (famous for Jain temples, Guru Dattatrey temple and the second longest ropeway in Asia). The section will play a pivotal role in uplifting the social and economic development of Amreli, Rajkot, Junagadh, Gir Somnath and Porbandar Districts of Gujarat State. This Gauge Converted section of 58 km has been completed at a cost of Rs. 452 crores. Lunidhar – Jetalsar section is part of the Dhasa – Jetalsar Gauge Conversion project, out of which the Dhasa – Lunidhar section (48 km) was dedicated by PM in the month of June, 2022. Modi also stated that the development in railways across the country has been manifold be it in terms of quality, service, safety, etc. This change has benefitted people from all stratas of life.
PM also flagged off the inaugural run of Asarva - Udaipur Express, as well as virtually flagged off the inaugural run of Udaipur – Asarva Express, Lunidhar - Jetalsar and Jetalsar – Lunidhar Passenger trains from Asarva railway station. In its regular run w.e.f 01st November, 2022, Lunidhar - Jetalsar and Jetalsar – Lunidhar Passenger trains will run from Bhavnagar to Jetalsar & vice versa. In addition to the newly introduced trains, the existing Train No. 09566/65 Bhavnagar – Lunidhar Passenger has been extended upto Jetalsar.
The introduction of these trains will benefit the local residents and also tourists, pilgrims and trader community, as it will facilitate seamless connectivity to rest of the country.