Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the modernised Jalna – Mumbai Vande Bharat Express online from Ayodhya on Saturday. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Danve, State Minister for Housing Atul Save, Leader of the Opposition of the Legislature Council Ambadas Danve, MLAs Babanrao Lonikar, Kailas Gorantyal, Narayan Kuche, Rajesh Rathod, and many others were present at the Jalna Railway Station for the grand event. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also graced the event through video conferencing. Later, all the dignitaries travelled from Jalna to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in the Vande Bharat Express.
During the event, Fadnavis remarked, "The Central Government is committed to expanding the railway network and modernising it. The previous state government had halted funds for railway development, but after coming to power, our government released the state’s share for railway development. The train currently operates at a speed of 160 km/hr, but it will soon achieve a speed of 250 km/hour."
Danve added, "We are striving to offer modern amenities to passengers through the Vande Bharat train. Several larger projects are underway. The electrification of the Mumbai to Jalna route has been completed and will be extended further."
Local Girl Drives Vande Bharat Train
Kalpana Dhanawat, a 27-year-old from Pal village in Phulambri tehsil, is the assistant loco-pilot of the Jalna–Mumbai Vande Bharat Express. After completing her engineering studies in 2019, she joined the railways as an assistant loco-pilot and now operates the train. Her family, relatives, and friends express immense pride in Kalpana for driving the first modern train in the Marathwada region.
Tension arose at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar Railway Station as activists from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeeen (AIMIM) confronted each other aggressively. AIMIM activists chanted slogans, expressing discontent as AIMIM MP Imtiyaz Jaleel’s name was omitted from the invitation card for the function. Jaleel criticised this as a part of the politicisation of development issues, stating that despite raising significant queries in Lok Sabha for rail and air connectivity, his name was conveniently left off the invitation card.
Know More About The train
The Jalna-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express comprises eight bogies and accommodates up to 530 passengers. It operates six days a week, excluding Wednesdays, with halts at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Manmad, Nashik Road, Kalyan, Thane, and Dadar. Departing from Jalna at 5.05am, it arrives at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar at 5.55am and reaches Mumbai CSMT by 11.55am.