Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the world’s first Double Stack Long Haul 1.5 kilometer long container train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli to New Kishangarh, through video conferencing in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the “mahayagya” to modernise the country’s infrastructure is now picking pace as he launched a section of another railway freight corridor, calling them corridors of development. In an event held through a video link, Modi dedicated to the nation the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, terming it a “game changer.”
He also flagged off the “world’s first” double-stack long-haul 1.5-km-long container train pulled by electric traction from New Ateli in Haryana to New Kishangarh in Rajasthan. The launch of the new section comes days after a similar ceremony to open the New Bhaupur-New Khurja portion in Uttar Pradesh of the eastern freight corridor, which he listed among the country’s infra achievements in the last “10 or 12 days”. These included the inauguration of housing projects and the Kochi-Mangaluru gas pipeline. Modi also referred to the development of two vaccines against coronavirus, ready for launch in the country. “The mahayagya (mission) to modernise the country’s infrastructure has gained a new momentum today,” he said. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot also joined the event through video conference.
While welcoming the launch of the freight corridor, Gehlot claimed that railway projects announced earlier in his State had come to a halt, and urged Modi to “resume” them. The Prime Minister said the western freight corridor project is being seen as a game changer for India in the 21st century. “After a lot of hard work in the last five to six years, today a big portion of it has become a reality.” “Dedicated freight corridors, be it eastern or western, are not just modern routes for modern goods trains. These dedicated freight corridors are also the corridors of the country’s rapid development,” he said. Modi said the freight corridors will also form the basis for the development of new growth centres. He said the western corridor will bring new opportunities to farmers, industrialists and traders in the National Capital Region, Haryana and Rajasthan. The corridor will cover 133 railway stations in nine States. At these stations, new multi-modal logistics parks, freight terminals, container depots and parcel hubs will also come up, he said. “These will benefit farmers, small industries, cottage industries and big manufacturers,” Modi added.
Using the railway analogy, the PM said the infrastructure work is going on two tracks simultaneously in the country. One track is development for the individual, he said, listing the provision of houses, toilets, water, electricity, roads and internet which make life easier for crores of people. The other track, he said, targets the country’s growth engines and industry. Modi claimed that the kind of investment made in the last six years on the railway network has never taken place earlier. He predicted that the day when the capital of each northeastern State is connected by the railway is not far. He cited passenger amenities on trains now, comparing them with the time when there were “heaps of complaints” from the process of booking onwards. “Who can forget the experiences of our rail passengers in the past?” The New Rewari-New Madar section runs 79 km through Haryana’s Mahendragarh and Rewari districts and 227 km through Rajasthan’s Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur and Alwar districts.