Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ajmer-Delhi Vande Bharat on Wednesday, which marks the first for the state of Rajasthan.
This newly launched high-speed train is expected to reduce travel time between the national capital and Rajasthan's capital, Jaipur, by approximately 70 minutes.
During the launch, PM Modi stated that significant transformation within the railway sector only began after 2014, as political interests had dominated modernization efforts post-Independence.
He added that the appointment of a railway minister was politically motivated, and as a result, trains that were announced never came to fruition. Corruption and lack of transparency in the selection process also hindered the development of railways.
PM Modi also expressed his gratitude towards Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. He said: “I especially want to express my gratitude to Gehlot ji. He has been going through a lot of trouble due to political turbulence in his state. Despite that, he took out time for development work and came for the launch. I welcome and appreciate this effort".
He also shared a light-hearted moment and had a laugh, saying, “Gehlot ji, aapke toh do-do hanth mein laddoo hai (Gehlot, you’ve got sweets in both your hands). Your Railway Minister is from Rajasthan. And Railway Board’s chairman is also from Rajasthan. Hence, you have double advantage.
"And secondly, the work that should have been done immediately after Independence, couldn’t be done till now. But you trust me to such an extent that you brought even those tasks to me. Your trust in me is the strength of our friendship. And as a friend, I thank you for having this trust to me."
This Vande Bharat will operate commercially between Delhi and Ajmer, but for its inaugural run, the train will travel between Jaipur and Delhi. The high-speed train has a total of 16 coaches, with a seating capacity of over 1,128 passengers.
The newly launched VB train is the world's first semi-high-speed passenger train to operate on high rise overhead electric (OHE) territory.
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