New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section and the Operation Control Centre of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) on Tuesday, 29th December, through video conference. Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were present on the occasion, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed happiness on seeing the modern rail infrastructure project getting implemented on the ground, saying when the first goods train runs in the Khurja Bhaupur freight corridor today, one can hear the roar of self-reliant India. He said the Prayagraj Operation Control Centre is one of the modern control centres and a symbol of the strength of new India.
Prime Minister Modi said infrastructure is the biggest source of any nation’s strength. He said as India is moving fast towards the path of becoming an economic power, the best connectivity is the priority of the country, adding that the Government is working on every aspect of modern connectivity for the last six years with this in mind. He said the Government is focusing on the five wheels of highways, railways, airways, waterways, and i-ways. The Prime Minister said today’s inauguration of a large section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor is a big step in this direction, according to the PMO.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need for these Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs). He said as the population grew, the economy grew, and the demand on freight increased manifold. He said since both passenger trains and goods trains ply on the same track, the speed of the goods train is slow. He said when the speed of the goods train is slow, and there is an interruption in place, obviously, the cost of transportation will be high, and added that, being expensive, the products lose the competition in the markets of the country as well as abroad. He said the Dedicated Freight Corridor was planned to change this situation.
Initially, two Dedicated Freight Corridors were planned, hPM Modi stated. The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) is from Ludhiana to Dankuni, he said, noting that this route has coal mines, thermal power plants, and industrial cities, and adding that feeder routes are also being made for these. The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor is from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to Dadri, said PM Modi, observing that in this corridor, ports like Mundra, Kandla, Pipavav, Dawri, and Hazira would be served through feeder routes. He said the industrial corridors of Delhi-Mumbai and Amritsar-Kolkata are being developed around both these freight corridors. He said north-south and east-west Corridors are also being planned similarly.
The Prime Minister said that with such Dedicated Freight Corridors, problems of delayed passenger trains would be resolved. Due to this, the speed of freight trains will also increase three-fold and they will be able to carry double the volume of goods, said PM Modi, adding that when goods trains arrive on time, the cost of the logistics network would be cheaper. When the goods will be cheaper, it will benefit India’s exports, he said, adding that it would create a better atmosphere, ease of doing business would increase, and India would become an attractive place to invest, and many new opportunities for self-employment will also be created.
The Prime Minister proclaimed that industry, businessmen, farmers, and consumers – everyone is going to benefit from this Dedicated Freight Corridor. He said the EDFC will boost eastern India which is left behind industrially. He observed that about 60 percent of the corridor falls in UP, remarking that it would attract a lot of industries towards UP. The Prime Minister held that the Kisan Rail would be benefited due to this Dedicated Freight Corridor. Farmers can send their produce through rail to any big markets across the country, safely and at a low price, he said, adding that now through this freight corridor, their produce would reach even faster. In Uttar Pradesh, a lot of storage and cold storage facilities have come up due to the Kisan Rail, he stated.
Prime Minister Modi lamented the huge delays in the past in implementation of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. He said until the year 2014, not even one kilometre of track could be laid. He said after the formation of the Government in 2014, as a result of constant monitoring and meeting with the stakeholders, about 1,100 km of the work was completed in the next few months. The Prime Minister criticised the mentality of the previous regimes that focused on increasing the number of trains rather than the tracks on which the train was to run. Not much investment was done on the modernisation of the rail network, he stated, saying this was changed with the elimination of separate rail budgets investing on the rail track. He said the Government focused on widening and electrification of the rail network and elimination of unmanned rail crossings.
The Prime Minister said reforms have been undertaken at every level in the railways like cleanliness, improved food and drink, and other facilities. He said similarly a major achievement in the field of self sufficiency is made in railway-related manufacturing, observing that India is now building modern trains and also exporting, Varanasi is becoming a major centre for electric locomotives, said PM Modi, adding that rail coaches manufactured in Rae Bareli are now exported abroad.
Prime Minister Modi urged to keep the development of the country’s infrastructure away from politics. He said the country’s infrastructure should be a mission to benefit many generations, not 5 years of politics. If political parties have to compete, there should be competition in the quality of infrastructure, competition on speed and scale. He advised against damaging public property during demonstrations and movements, urging citizens not to forget one’s obligation to the nation while expressing their democratic rights.
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