Union Minister Amit Shah speaking at flagging off ceremony of Vande Bharat Express in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI
Union Minister Amit Shah speaking at flagging off ceremony of Vande Bharat Express in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI

Railways vital to achieve PM's vision of $ 5 trillion economy: Shah

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2019 17:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 3 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that Prime Minister visualises Railways as a lifeline to achieve the goal of making India a $ US 5 trillion economy.
Flagging off Vande Bharat Express train from here, Shah said modernisation of railways was taking place at a fast pace under the leadership of Prime Minister and various initiatives such as gauge conversion and laying of tracks was taking place at twice the speed compared to the UPA government.
He congratulated Railway Minister Piyush Goyal over the speed at which the Railways have adopted `Make in India' initiative of the Prime Minister.
Noting that Mahatma Gandhi had used the Railways to give the country freedom, he said the Prime Minister has taken inspiration from Bapu and wants to make Railways a "lifeline" in the target of making India a five trillion dollar economy.
The minister said that 'Vande Bharat' was a hallmark of the success of 'Make in India' and the potential that it holds in giving a boost to the economy.
"The Railways should keep increasing its passenger and freight traffic. Railways must keep a fast-paced development and achieve Prime Minister's vision of US $ 5 trillion economy in the same way as Railways played a major role in the success of Bapu's freedom struggle," he said.
Shah said it was an incident in a railway coach in South Africa that shaped Gandhi's transformation into a leader of the freedom movement. He said it was during a train journey that he decided against wearing full clothes seeing the poverty of countrymen.
Shah said Modi has given a big gift to Jammu and Kashmir in the form of Vande Bharat Express and it was also a gift during Navratri.
"For the development of Jammu and Kashmir, religious tourism will play a big part, there cannot be any village in India where people do not want to go to Mata Vaishno Devi temple and this will help in the development of the region," Shah said.
He said the first Vande Bharat Express train between Delhi and Varanasi started on February 17.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forth his dream of a high-speed train network across India to the Railways and it is working hard to achieve that," he said.
The first commercial run of Vande Bharat will start from October 5 and the bookings have started on the IRCTC website.
The minimum fare for travelling between New Delhi (NDLS) to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (SVDK) will be Rs 1,630 and the maximum will be Rs 3,015. (ANI)