Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off Vande Bharat trains in Mumbai. Vande Bharat trains on CSMT Sainagar Shirdi & CSMT Solapur were made operational. In the inaugural service students from different schools got selected for free travel throughout the route in both the trains. These students were selected after passing various competitions such as drawing, essay writing and elocution.
Upon arriving at Platform no. 18 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Prime Minister inspected the Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat. He also interacted with the train crew and the children inside the coach.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that it is a huge day for Railways in India, especially for advanced connectivity in Maharashtra as this is the first time that two Vande Bharat trains have been flagged off on the same day. He underlined that these Vande Bharat trains will connect economic centers such as Mumbai and Pune to centers of faith, thereby benefiting those traveling for college, office, business, pilgrimage and agricultural purposes. He said that traveling to sacred places like Shirdi, Nasik, Trimbakeshwar, and Panchvati will be made easier with the new Vande Bharat trains which will give a boost to tourism as well as pilgrimage. “The pilgrimages of Pandharpur, Solapur, Akkalkot and Tuljapur will also be made more accessible with the Solapur Vande Bharat Express”, he said.
The Prime Minister said that the Vande Bharat train is a grand picture of modern India. “It is a reflection of India's speed and scale.” Commenting on the speed of the launch of Vande Bharat Trains, the Prime Minister informed that so far, 10 Vande Bharat trains have started operating connecting 108 districts of 17 states of the country. The Prime Minister expressed happiness that many projects were launched today that will enhance the ease of living. He said that the elevated road will connect eastern and western suburban areas and the underpass, he said, is significant.
The Prime Minister reiterated the need for improving public transport for 21st-century India as it will lead to massive ease of living for the citizens. This thinking, he pointed out, is behind the launch of modern trains, the expansion of the Metro, and new airports and ports. The Budget also strengthens this thinking as for the first time, 10 lakh crore were allocated exclusively for infrastructure development. In this railway's share is 2.5 lakh crore, he added. The Prime Minister said that the Rail Budget for Maharashtra also witnessed an unprecedented rise and expressed the hope that with the efforts of the double-engine government, connectivity in Maharashtra will move ahead rapidly.
"The middle class has been strengthened in this budget”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined that the needs of both the salaried class and those who own businesses have been addressed in this year’s budget. He noted that people with an income of more than 2 lakh rupees were taxed before 2014 but it was the present government that initially increased it to 5 lakh rupees and now to 7 lakh rupees in this year’s budget. “Those who paid 20% tax in the UPA government pay zero tax today”, the Prime Minister remarked. He also highlighted that those with new jobs now have an opportunity to save more.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that this budget that promotes the spirit of ‘Sabka Vikas Sabka Prayas’ will give strength to every family and encourage everyone to build a Viksit Bharat, the Prime Minister concluded.
"Nobody would have imagined that such a train would run in India. That it would run at such a tremendous speed and that it's ambience would be so nice. Such a train will run from Mumbai to Shirdi and Mumbai to Solapur for devotees and commuters and would prove to be a milestone. I thank honourable PM for allocating Rs 13000 crore to Maharashtra in this budget for railways. We had never heard or imagined the way 124 railway stations in Maharashtra is being developed and that CSMT station is being developed in an iconic way," said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Railways, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Narayan Rane, Union Ministers of State, Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, and Ministers from Government of Maharashtra were present on the occasion among others.
Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat Train will be the 9th Vande Bharat train in the country. The new world-class train will improve connectivity between Mumbai and Solapur and will also facilitate travel to important pilgrimage centers like Siddheshwar in Solapur, Akkalkot, Tuljapur, Pandharpur near Solapur and Alandi near Pune.
Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat, the 10th Vande Bharat train in the country will improve connectivity to important pilgrimage centers in Maharashtra like Nashik, Trimbakeshwar, Sainagar Shirdi, and Shani Singanapur.
Batch of 60 students each from CSMT, Kalyan and Nashik boarded the Vande Bharat CSMT Sainagar Shirdi train.
Paras Lalwani of KC Gandhi school at Kalyan said, "Students from our school had participated in competitions and some of us were lucky to have got an opportunity to travel in the Vande Bharat train. It is a memorable moment for me and I will cherish this moment all my life."
BOX: Vande Bharat features
16 coach train
1128 passenger capacity
180 degree chair rotation in executive coach to get better view from glass
Automatic door closing
Special lift for snack table
Charging points for each seat
BOX: Vande Bharat fare
From CSMT to Nashik (including catering) - Rs 720 (chair car) & Rs 1315 (Executive Class)
From CSMT to Sainagar Shirdi (including catering) - Rs 975 (chair car) & Rs 1840 (Executive Class)
From CSMT to Pune (including catering) - Rs 660 (chair car) & Rs 1270 (Executive Class)
From CSMT to Solapur (including catering) - Rs 1300 (chair car) & Rs 2365 (Executive Class).
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