Mumbai: Calling for reforms in the public transport services for improving the quality of citizens’ lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday described the Vande Bharat train as a magnificent picture of modern India and a reflection of the country’s speed and scope.
The Prime Minister, who flagged off two Vande Bharat trains from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus here, said it was a big day not only for the Indian Railways, but also for Maharashtra, especially with regard to an advanced communication system in the state.
Modi said it was the first time that two Vande Bharat trains were flagged off on the same day.
He highlighted that the two Vande Bharat trains will connect the financial hubs of the country like Mumbai and Pune with religious places like Shirdi, Nashik, Trimbakeshwar and Panchavati.
At the same time, office and college goers, business persons, farmers and devotees will also benefit.
He said these trains will boost both tourism and pilgrimage. “The Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat train will make it much easier to visit pilgrimage destinations like Pandharpur, Solapur, Akkalkot and Tuljapur”, the Prime Minister said.
Modi said the Vande Bharat train is a magnificent picture of today’s modernizing India. “These trains are a reflection of both India’s speed and scope.”
He said so far 10 such trains have been started across the country, and are covering 108 districts in 17 states.
Modi expressed happiness that the projects launched during the day will improve the lives of common people.
The Prime Minister reiterated the need for reforms in public transport services that would greatly improve the quality of life of citizens of a 21st century India. He said this is the thinking behind modern trains, the expansion of the metro and te opening of new airports and ports.
This ideology has been reinforced by the budget as for the first time Rs 10 lakh crore has been earmarked for infrastructure development. He informed that the share of railways is Rs 2.5 lakh crores.
The Prime Minister said the efforts of the twin-engine government will speed up connectivity in the western state.
He said the budget placed last week has strengthened the middle class, and addressed the needs of both the salaried and the professionals.
Before 2014, people with income above Rs 2 lakh were taxed, but the current government in this year’s budget has raised the income limit for taxation initially to Rs 5 lakh and now to Rs 7 lakh.
The Prime Minister remarked that those who paid 20% tax in the United Progressive Alliance government pay zero tax today. Those with new jobs now have an opportunity to save more, he said.
Promoting the spirit of ‘Sabka Vikas Sabka Prayas’, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that this budget will strengthen every family and encourage everyone to build a developed India.
The two Vande Bharat trains flagged off during the day will run between Mumbai and Solapur and between Mumbai and Sainagar Shirdi. He also inaugurated two projects, namely Santacruz-Chembur Link Road and Kurar Tunnel in Mumbai. The two road projects will help reduce traffic congestion in Mumbai, he said.
After arriving at Platform No. 18 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus for this event, the Prime Minister inspected the Mumbai-Sainagar Vande Bharat train. Also, he interacted with the staff and children in the train.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Narayan Rane, Union Ministers of State Ramdas Athawale and Kapil Moreshwar Patil and state government ministers were present on the occasion. UNI