The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor today through video conference.Union Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed happiness on seeing the modern rail infrastructure project getting implemented on the ground. He said today when the first goods train runs in the Khurja Bhaupur freight corridor we can hear the roar of the Self reliant india. He said Prayagraj Operation Control center is one of the modern control centers and a symbol of the new strength of the new India.
The Prime Minister said Infrastructure is the biggest source of any nation's strength. He said as India is moving fast towards the path of becoming a big economic power, then the best connectivity is the priority of the country. He said the Government is working on every aspect of modern connectivity for the last six years with this in mind. He said the Government is focussing on the five wheels of highways, railways, airways, waterways and i-ways. He said today’s inauguration of a large section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor is a big step in this direction.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need for these dedicated freight corridors. He said as the population grew, Economy grew, 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 interruption in place, obviously the cost of transportation will be high. He added being expensive, our products lose the competition in our markets of the country as well as abroad. He said the Dedicated Freight Corridor was planned to change this situation. Initially 2 Dedicated Freight Corridors were planned. Eastern dedicated Freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni. This route has coal mines, Thermal power plants and industrial cities. Feeder routes are also being made for these. Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to Dadri. In this corridor, ports like Mundra, Kandla, Pipavav, Dawri and Hazira would be served through feeder routes. He said the Industrial corridor of Delhi-Mumbai and Amritsar-Kolkata are being developed around both these Freight Corridor. He said similarly North to south and East to west Corridors are also being planned.
The Prime Minister said with such dedicated freight corridors problems of delayed passenger trains would be resolved. Due to this speed of the freight train also would increase 3 times and would be able to carry double the volume of goods. He added when goods trains arrive on time the cost of our Logistics Network would be cheaper. When our goods will be cheaper, it would benefit our exports. He said 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 said Industry, businessmen, farmers or consumers, everyone is going to benefit from this dedicated freight corridor. He said the freight corridor will boost the eastern india which is left behind industrially. He said about 60 percent of the corridor falls in UP. It would attract a lot of industries towards UP. He said 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. 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 Kisan Rail.
The Prime Minister lamented the huge delays in the past in implementation of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. He said until the year 2014, not even a kilometer 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 1100 km of the work got completed in the next few months. He criticized the mentality of the previous regimes that focussed on increasing the number of trains rather than the tracks on which the train was to run. Not much investment was done on modernization of the rail network. He said this was changed with the elimination of separate rail budgets, investing on the rail track. He said the Government focussed 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. He said India is now building modern trains and also exporting, Varanasi is becoming a major center for Electric Locomotives, Rail Coaches manufactured in Rae Bareli are now exported abroad.
The Prime Minister urged to keep the development of the country's infrastructure away from politics. He said 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. He urged not to forget one’s obligation to the nation while expressing their democratic right.