Underlining changes in approach in development of rail infrastructure in recent times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that this led to unprecedented progress in modernisation in Indian Railways.
While speaking after flagging off eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Kevadiya in Gujarat, he pointed out that earlier, the focus was limited to keeping the existing infrastructure running and there was little attention on new thinking or new technology and it was imperative to change this approach.
The Prime Minister flagged off eight new trains from various destinations to Kevadiya and inaugurated the Dabhoi – Chandod Gauge converted broad gauge rail line (18 km), new broad gauge railway line from Chandod to Kevadiya (32 km), newly electrified Pratapnagar – Kevadiya section (80 km), and the new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya through video conferencing.
Trains were launched between Kevadiya and Chennai, Varanasi, Rewa, Dadar and Delhi along with MEMU service between Kevadiya and Pratapnagar.
The rail connectivity with Kevadiya is expected to script a new chapter in the development of Kevadiya which will benefit both the tourists and local adivasis as this will bring new avenues of self-employment and employment.
The PM said that in the recent years, work was done on comprehensive transformation of the entire railway system and it wasn’t limited to tinkering with the budget and new train announcements.
Highlighting the transformation that took place on many fronts, he gave the example of the present project of connecting Kevadiya, where a multi-pronged focus led to completion of the task in record time.
The PM also presented the Dedicated Freight Corridor as an example of change in approach from earlier times.
"The DFC project was under progress and between 2006-2014, work was done only on paper with not even a single kilometre of track laid. Now a total of 1,100 Kilometres are about to be completed in the next few months," he said.
The Kevadiya project was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 811 crore and the land acquisition for a new line project was completed by July 2020 and has been commissioned only in five months, a record time for completion of a rail project.
Modern engineering techniques and equipment were deployed to quicken the pace of civil engineering work.
The project involves a total of seven stations with three major crossing stations and four minor halt stations.
Out of these four are new stations — Moriya, Tilakwada, Garudeshwar Kevadiya, and three are existing stations, namely Dabhoi , Vadaj and Chandod.
There are eight major bridges, 79 minor bridges, nine road over bridges and 31 road under bridges.
The sectional speed between Pratapnagar - Dabhoi has been raised from 75 kmph to 110 kmph in a short span of 75 days and Dabhoi – Kevadiya section has been built with 110 kmph speed in mind.
The speed of the entire section from Pratapnagar to Kevadiya will be further enhanced to 130 kmph.
The station buildings at Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya have been designed aesthetically, incorporating local features and modern passenger amenities.
While these trains would provide seamless rail connectivity to the world’s tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ from various directions of the nation, it will also provide connectivity to important religious and ancient pilgrim places nestled on the banks of the Narmada river such as old temples at Karnali, Poicha and Garudeshwar.
A 12 foot tall replica of 'Statue of Unity' is installed at the prime location of Kevadiya station circulating area which is also designed by the same sculptor Ram V. Sutar who designed and created the Statue of Unity.
Expected to act as a catalyst for the overall socio-economic development of the region, it would boost both domestic and international tourism while generating new employment and business opportunities.
The surrounding area has vast parking space, landscaping, a thematic park, solar light poles, wide traffic way, horticulture plants, a thematic park with selfie zone, food courts and a children's play area.
It is worth mentioning that the foundation stone for the construction of the Statue of Unity was laid by Narendra Modi on 31 October 2013, as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
The gigantic Statue of Unity standing tall at a towering height of 182 metres warmly opened its doors to the public on 31 October 2018 on the occasion of the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
This unique idea is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — the Iron Man and the architect of a united India.
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