Present in this program are Governors and Chief Ministers from different states, members of the Union Cabinet, state ministers, Members of Parliament, legislators, other representatives, and my family members,
The expansion of modern connectivity in the country is an unprecedented occasion. The speed and scale of infrastructure development is matching the aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians perfectly. This is what today’s Bharat desires. These are the aspirations of the youth, entrepreneurs, women, professionals, businessmen, and those associated with jobs. Today, the inauguration of 9 Vande Bharat trains simultaneously is an example of this. Today, people from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala have got the facility of Vande Bharat Express. The trains launched today are more modern and comfortable compared to the ones before. These Vande Bharat trains symbolize the new energy, enthusiasm, and aspirations of new Bharat. I am also delighted that the craze for Vande Bharat is continuously increasing. So far, more than one crore and eleven lakh passengers have travelled by these trains, and this number is increasing day by day.
People from different states and centrally governed territories of the country have been benefiting from the services of 25 Vande Bharat trains so far. Now, an additional 9 Vande Bharat Express trains are being added to this network. The day is not far when Vande Bharat will connect every part of the country. I am pleased that Vande Bharat Express is fulfilling its purpose admirably. These trains have become important for those who want to minimize travel time. These trains have become highly essential for people who wish to finish their work in another city within a few hours and return on the same day. Vande Bharat trains have also accelerated tourism and economic activities. Wherever the Vande Bharat Express service has reached, the number of tourists has increased there. An increase in the number of tourists implies a rise in the income of businesses and shopkeepers in those areas. This is also creating new employment opportunities there.
My family members,
The atmosphere of enthusiasm and self-confidence that exists in Bharat today was not present in the past several decades. Today, every citizen of the country takes pride in the achievements of their new Bharat. The success of Chandrayaan-3 has raised human expectations to new heights. The launch of Aditya-L1 has given confidence that if there is strong determination, even the most challenging goals can be achieved. The success of the G20 Summit has demonstrated the incredible strength of Bharat’s democracy, demography, and diversity. Bharat’s diplomatic skills are being discussed worldwide. The world has praised our vision of women-led development. Building on this vision, the government introduced the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ in Parliament. Since the introduction of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, discussions are happening about the contribution of women and their increasing role in every sector. Today, several railway stations are being operated entirely by female employees. I commend such efforts, and I congratulate all the women in the country once again for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.
Amidst this confident atmosphere, Bharat of the ‘Amrit Kaal’ (golden era) is working simultaneously on its present and future needs. From planning infrastructure to its execution, all stakeholders are collaborating, and for this purpose, the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan has been made. In order to reduce transportation costs in the country and minimize the cost of our exports, a new logistics policy has been implemented. Emphasis is being placed on multi-modal connectivity to support one mode of transport with another in the country. The overarching goal of all these initiatives is to enhance the ease of travel and save valuable time for the citizens of Bharat. These Vande Bharat trains are a reflection of this sentiment.
The Indian Railways is the most dependable companion of the poor and the middle class people in the country. The number of people travelling by train in one day in our country is more than the population of many countries. Unfortunately, not much attention was given to modernizing the Indian Railways in the past. But now, our government is committed to the transformation of the Indian Railways. The government has made an unprecedented increase in the rail budget. This year, the budget for railways is eight times more than what it was in 2014. There is rapid progress in the doubling of rail lines, electrification, running new trains and building new routes.
If trains are the moving homes for passengers in Indian Railways, then our railway stations are like their temporary homes. You and I both know that we have thousands of railway stations that have not seen much change since the days of colonial rule, even 75 years after independence. A developed Bharat needs to modernize its railway stations. With this vision, a campaign for the development and modernization of railway stations has been launched for the first time in Bharat. Today, there is a record number of foot overbridges, lifts, and escalators being built for the convenience of rail passengers in the country. Just a few days ago, the work of revamping over 500 major stations in the country began. These newly developed stations in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ will be known as ‘Amrit Bharat Stations’. These stations will soon become the identity of the new Bharat in the days to come.
My family members,
Every railway station, no matter what, has its own foundation day. I am pleased that now Indian Railways has started celebrating the foundation day of railway stations. Recently, the foundation day of several stations, including Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai and Pune, was celebrated. Coimbatore Railway Station has completed 150 years of serving passengers. The people there naturally take pride in such achievements. This tradition of celebrating the foundation day of railway stations will be expanded, connecting more and more people.
My family members,
Bharat has turned the vision of ‘Ek Bharat, Shrehtha Bharat’ into a reality with unwavering determination in the ‘Amrit Kaal’. When the country celebrates 100 years of independence in 2047, the development of every state, the development of every state’s people, is just as crucial as the goal of achieving a developed Bharat by 2047. In previous governments, when the cabinet was formed, the most discussed topic was who would get the Railway Ministry. It was believed that the state from which the Railway Minister came would have more trains running. Furthermore, it was often the case that announcements of new trains were made, but very few of them actually ran on the tracks. This self-centered thinking not only harmed the Railways but also caused significant damage to the country and its people. Now, the country cannot afford to risk holding any state back. We must continue to move forward with the vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.
My family members,
Today, I want to say something to our hardworking railway employees as well. When someone travels from one city or a distant place, the first thing they are asked is how their journey was. That person not only shares his travel experience but also talks about the entire journey from leaving home to reaching his destination. He mentions how much railway stations have changed, how well the trains are managed, and he describes various aspects of his experiences, including the behaviour of the TTE, the use of tablets by him instead of paper, security arrangements, and the quality of food. Therefore, maintaining a continuous sense of empathy and dedication to providing passengers with a good travel experience is essential for every railway employee. It is heartening to hear such positive feedback these days, with people saying, “It was so good, it was so nice,” and that brings a great sense of joy. So, I congratulate all the committed railway employees as well from the bottom of my heart.
My family members,
Indian Railways has set new standards for cleanliness, which every citizen has noticed. Compared to the past, our stations and trains are much cleaner now. You are aware that Gandhi Jayanti is not far away. Gandhi ji’s commitment to cleanliness is well-known to everybody. Every effort made for cleanliness is a true tribute to Gandhi ji. In this spirit, a grand event on cleanliness is going to take place at 10 AM on October 1st. It is happening all over the country, led by the people. I urge you sincerely to also participate in this cleanliness campaign. Mark your calendars for October 1st at 10 AM. Gandhi Jayanti should be a time when every citizen emphasizes buying Khadi and local products. October 2nd is Gandhi Jayanti, and October 31st is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Jayanti. In a way, let’s consciously buy Khadi, handicrafts, and local products for the entire month. We should be more vocal for local.
I believe that the changes happening at all levels in Indian Railways and society will be a significant step towards a developed Bharat. Once again, I extend my best wishes to the people of the country for the new Vande Bharat trains.
Thanks a lot!
Nine Vande Bharat Express trains being launched today will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism across India. https://t.co/btK05Zm2zC— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 24, 2023
New Vande Bharat trains will improve connectivity across the country. pic.twitter.com/Buj1AsoY9Q— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 24, 2023
वो दिन दूर नहीं, जब वंदेभारत देश के हर हिस्से को कनेक्ट करेगी। pic.twitter.com/39G8ZmkjxW— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 24, 2023