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Dedicated Freight Corridor will enhance ease of doing business, cut down logistics cost: PM Modi
Freight corridors will strengthen Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: PM Modi
Country's infrastructure development should be kept away from politics: PM

Uttar Pradesh Governor Shrimati Anandiben Patel ji, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal ji, my colleagues in Parliament, ministers of UP government, all other senior dignitaries associated with the programme, brothers and sisters. This day is going to give a new identity of the 21st century to the glorious past of Indian Railways and enhance the might of India and Indian Railways. Today, we are seeing the largest and modern rail infrastructure project being implemented after independence.

Friends,

Today, when the first goods train ran on the freight corridor route of Khurja-Bhau, one could clearly hear the roar of the new India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Operation Control Centre at Prayagraj also marks the new potential of new India. It is one of the finest and modern control centres in the world. And, anybody will be proud to know that the technology related to management and data has been prepared in India itself; the Indians have prepared it.

Brothers and sisters

Infrastructure is the biggest source of competence of any nation. The connectivity in infrastructure is like a nation’s veins and arteries. The better these veins are, the healthier and more powerful a nation is. Today, when India is moving fast towards becoming the world's big economic power, excellent connectivity is the priority of the country. With this thought, every aspect of modern connectivity is being focused in India for the past six years. Whether it is highways, railways, airways, waterways or the i-ways -- the five wheels required for the economic speed are being given a boost and speed. The inauguration of a large section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor is also a major step in this direction.

Friends,

These Dedicated Freight Corridors, if described in general colloquial language, are special tracks and arrangements for goods trains. Why did the country need them? Our farms, industry or markets, they all depend on freight. Somewhere a crop grows; it has to be transported to different parts of the country. It has to be transported to ports for exports. Similarly, raw materials for industries come from somewhere through the sea. Industry goods have to be transported to the market or they have to be transported to the ports for export. The Railways has been the biggest medium for this purpose. As the population grew, the economy grew and the pressure on this freight network also increased. The problem was that both the passenger and goods trains run on the same track in our country. The speed of the goods train is slow. Passenger trains are stopped at stations to give way to goods trains. As a result, the passenger train also fails to reach in time and the goods train is also late. When the speed of the goods train is slow and there are intermittent hindrances, obviously, the cost of transportation will be higher. It directly affects the price of our farming, mineral products and industrial products. Being costly, they are not able to compete in the markets of the country and abroad and lag behind.

Brothers and sisters,

The freight corridor was planned to change this situation. Initially, there is a plan to prepare two Dedicated Freight Corridors. The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor is connecting Punjab's industrial city of Ludhiana with Dankuni in West Bengal. There are coal mines, thermal power plants and industrial cities in this hundreds of kilometers long route. Feeder routes are also being constructed. On the other hand, the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor connects JNPT in Maharashtra to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. This corridor of about 1500 kms will have feeder routes for major ports of Mundra, Kandla, Pipavav, Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor are also being developed around these two freight corridors. Similarly, necessary procedures are being completed on a special railway corridor connecting the north to the south and the east to the west.

Brothers and sisters,

The special facilities for goods trains will reduce the problem of frequent delays of passenger trains in India, and secondly, it will also increase the speed of the goods trains more than three times and the goods trains would be able to transport double the goods. Because on these tracks, the double decker goods trains i.e., the coach over a coach, can be run. Our logistics network will be cheaper when goods trains arrive on time. Our goods will be cheaper due to the reduction in the transportation cost which will help our exports. Not only that, there will be a better environment for the industry in the country, ease of doing business will improve and India will become more attractive for investment. Many new opportunities for employment and self-employment will also be created in the country.

Friends,

These freight corridors will become a very big medium of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Whether it is industry, business, farmers or consumers, everybody is going to get the benefit. These corridors have brought opportunities for everybody, whether it is a textile manufacturer of Ludhiana and Varanasi, or a farmer from Ferozepur, a lock maker of Aligarh, or a marble dealer of Rajasthan, a producer of mangoes in Malihabad, or the leather industry of Kanpur and Agra, the carpet industry of Bhadohi, or the car industry of Faridabad. This freight corridor is going to give a new impetus to specially the industrial backward eastern India. About 60 per cent of it is in UP, so every small industry in UP will benefit from it. The attraction of industries in the country and abroad towards UP in the past few years will further increase.

Brothers and sisters,

This Dedicated Freight Corridor is also going to benefit the Kisan Rail. The 100th Kisan Rail in the country was flagged off yesterday. It has been possible to transport the farm produce at a safe and low price in large markets across the country through the Kisan Rail. Now the Kisan Rail will reach its destination even faster on the new freight corridor. In Uttar Pradesh also, several stations have been linked with the Kisan Rail and the number of stations is being increased. Storage and cold storage capacity is also being augmented near railway stations in Uttar Pradesh. Forty-five warehouses of UP have been equipped with modern facilities. In addition, eight new goods sheds have also been set up in the state. In Uttar Pradesh, two big perishable cargo centres at Varanasi and Ghazipur are already serving the farmers. The farmers can store their perishable produce like fruits and vegetables there at very low rates.

Friends,

When this kind of infrastructure is benefiting the country so much, the question also arises, why was it so delayed? The project is a testimony to the work culture of the government which was there before 2014. The project was approved in 2006. After that, it was taking shape only in papers and files. The seriousness and urgency with which the Centre should have interacted with the states was not there. As a result, the work got stuck. Such was the situation that not even one kilometer track could be laid till 2014. The money which was also sanctioned could not be spent properly.

Friends,

After the formation of the government in 2014, the files for the project were gleaned again. The officials were asked to start fresh and the budget increased by about 11 times, i.e., 45,000 crore rupees. During the review meetings, I myself monitored it, interacted with the stakeholders involved and reviewed it. The central government also renewed contact with the state governments and motivated them. We also brought in new technology. This is the result that about 1100 kms of work will be completed in the next few months. Imagine, not a single kilometer in eight years, and 1100 kilometres in 6-7 years!

Brothers and sisters,

The political apathy towards infrastructure did not only incur loss to the freight corridor. The entire railway system has been a very big victim. Earlier, the focus was on increasing the number of trains so that it could benefit in the elections. But no investment was made on the tracks on which the trains were to run. There was no seriousness towards modernisation of the railway network. The speed of our trains was very low and the entire network was replete with deadly unmanned gates.

Friends,

We changed this working style, this mindset after 2014. By eliminating the system of a separate rail budget, we changed the politics of forgetting after making announcements. We invested on rail tracks, freed railway network from thousands of unmanned gates, designed railway tracks for fast moving trains and focused on both widening and electrification of the rail network. Today, semi high-speed trains like Vande Bharat Express are also running and Indian rail has been safer than ever.

Friends,

In the last few years, reforms have been undertaken at all levels in the Railways. Whether it is cleanliness, or better food or other facilities, the difference is evident today. Similarly, India has made a huge leap of self-sufficiency in manufacturing related activities of the Railways. India is now building modern trains for itself and exporting it as well. In UP only, the Locomotive Works in Varanasi is becoming a big electric locomotive centre in India. In the last six years, we have also refurbished the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli which was reduced to just denting and painting. More than 5000 new railway coaches have been made here so far. The railway coaches which are being built here are now being exported to foreign countries also.

Brothers and sisters,

Our past experiences show that the development of the country's infrastructure should be kept away from politics. The infrastructure of the country is the path of development of the country and not the ideology of any party. It is not a 5-year politics, but a mission to benefit many generations to come. If political parties have to compete, the competition should be on the quality of infrastructure, speed and scale. I also think it's important to mention another mindset here, which we often see during demonstrations and movements. This mindset is to damage the infrastructure and property of the country. We must remember that these infrastructures and assets do not belong to any leader, party, or any government. This is the property of the country. It has the sweat of every poor, taxpayer, the middle class and every section of the society. Any harm to it is harm to the poor and the common man of the country. So, while expressing our democratic rights, we should never forget our national duties.

Friends,

The Railways, which are often targeted, also serve the country in difficult circumstances which was seen during the corona period. The country will always remember the entire network of the Railways and the service of all the employees when they ensured the safe return of the troubled migrants to their villages, availability of medicines and ration to every nook and corner of the country or providing facilities like Corona hospitals. Not only that the Railways has also created more than one lakh days of employment for the labour friends who returned to the villages in the difficult time. I am confident that this unwavering mission of service, harmony and prosperity will continue towards the nation.

Once again, I convey my best wishes to all the states of the country, including UP, for the new facility of freight corridors, and also to all the colleagues of the Railways and also to urge them that the further work of this freight corridor is also to be run at a faster pace. The speed that we brought in after 2014 is to be enhanced in the days to come. So, all my railway colleagues will definitely meet the expectations of the country. With this belief, congratulations to all of you!

Many many thanks!

 

Modi Govt's #7YearsOfSeva
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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM Modi
September 25, 2021
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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM
“Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else”
“Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners”
“When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty”
“The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature”
“Mahatma Gandhi is among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else”
“Gandhi ji highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it”
“India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments”

Namaste!

It is a delight to address this young and energetic gathering. In front of me is a global family, with all the beautiful diversity of our planet.

The Global Citizen Movement uses music and creativity to bring the world together. Music, like sports, has an inherent ability to unite. The great Henry David Thoreau once said, and I quote: "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am in-vulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest of times, and to the latest."

Music has a calming impact on our life. It calms the mind and the entire body. India is home to many musical traditions. In every state, in every region, there are many different styles of music. I invite you all to come to India and discover our musical vibrancy anddiversity.

Friends,

For almost two years now, humanity is battling a once in a lifetime global pandemic. Our shared experience of fighting the pandemic has taught us we are stronger and better when we are together. We saw glimpses of this collective spirit when our COVID-19 warriors, doctors, nurses, medical staff gave their best in fighting the pandemic. We saw this spirit in our scientists and innovators, who created new vaccines in record time. Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else.

Friends,

In addition to COVID, other challenges remain. Among the most persistent of the challenges is poverty. Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners. Trusted partners who will give them the enabling infrastructure to forever break the vicious circle of poverty.

Friends,

When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty. And therefore, our efforts include banking the unbanked, providing social security coverage to millions, giving free and quality healthcare to 500 million Indians. It would make you happy that about 30 million houses have been built for the homeless in our cities and villages. A house is not only about shelter. A roof over the head gives people dignity. Another mass movement taking place in India is to providedrinking water connection to every household.The Government is spending over a trillion dollars for next-generation infrastructure.For several months last year and now, free food grains have been provided to 800 millions of our citizens.These, and several other efforts will give strength to the fight against poverty.

Friends,

The threat of climate change is looming large before us.The world will have to accept that the any change in the global environment first begins with the self. The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature.

The great Mahatma Gandhi is widely known for his thoughts on peace and non-violence. But, do you know that he is also among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else.He highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it.

Today, India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments. India is also proud to have brought the world together under the banner of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Friends,

We believe in the development of India for the development of humankind.I want to conclude by quoting the Rig Veda, which is perhaps one of the world's oldest scriptures.Its verses are still the golden standard in nurturing global citizens.

The Rig Veda says:

संगच्छध्वंसंवदध्वंसंवोमनांसिजानताम्

देवाभागंयथापूर्वेसञ्जानानाउपासते||

समानोमन्त्रःसमितिःसमानीसमानंमनःसहचित्तमेषाम्।

समानंमन्त्रम्अभिमन्त्रयेवःसमानेनवोहविषाजुहोमि।।

समानीवआकूति: समानाहृदयानिव: |

समानमस्तुवोमनोयथाव: सुसहासति||

It means:

Let us move forward together, speaking in one voice;

Let our minds be in agreement and let us share what we have, like the Gods share with each other.

Let us have a shared purpose and shared minds. Let us pray for such unity.

Let us have shared intentions and aspirations that unify us all.

Friends,

what can be a better manifesto for a global citizen than this?May we keep working together

for a kind, just and inclusive planet.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Namaste.