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

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.

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.