Prime Minister Narendra Modi assaults earlier govts for delay in freight hall venture

Lucknow, December 29

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused previous governments of delaying the dedicated freight corridor project and ignoring modernisation of the Railways, saying politics should be kept away from infrastructure development.

Inaugurating the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) via video-conferencing, he said the “roar” of Bharat and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) were clearly heard as the first freight train operated on the Khurja-Bhaupur section, and asserted that the corridor would also help farmers transport their harvest on time.

Modi to lay stone of AIIMS-Rajkot tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rajkot, Gujarat, on December 31 via video-conference, the PMO said on Tuesday. To be built over 201 acres, the Rs1,195-crore project is expected to be completed by mid-2022, the PMO said. PTI

The Prime Minister also deprecated the tendency of people to target infrastructure during protests and demonstrations, saying infrastructure did not belong to any leader, political party or government but was that of the country and its citizens. Stressing that this project was the living example of the work culture of the government at the helm before 2014, Modi said the freight project was given permission in 2006, but it was only on paper as the then government lacked the “seriousness and urgency” with which it had to take it up with the states.

After 2014, the project was restarted and officials asked to take it forward and by then the budget had gone up by 11 times, he noted.

The Prime Minister said on coming to power, he personally monitored the project and held a dialogue with stakeholders, and got new technology as a result of which about 1,100-km work would be completed in the next few months.

“Imagine not a single km in eight years and 1,100 km in six to seven years,” he said. The 351-km section has been built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crore. The EDFC is 1,840-km and extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal. Modi also inaugurated the EDFC’s operation centre at Allahabad and flagged off the first 1.5-km goods trains. The Prime Minister said political apathy not just hampered the freight corridor project, but also had a bearing on the entire Railways. — PTI

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