Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated Phase-I of Ahmedabad Metro project at a public function at the Ahmedabad Education Society here.
He took a metro ride from Kalupur station to Doordarshan Kendra metro station.
“For the first time a 32 km long stretch has been operationalised in one go in the history of Metro in the country… India of 21st century considers speed to be a critical factor and guarantee of expeditious development,” he said.
He also noted the fast completion of the project despite the challenge of constructing Metro track over railway line.
The Prime Minister also flagged off Gandhinagar- Mumbai Vande Bharat Express at Gandhinagar station and travelled on the train from there to Kalupur Railway Station.
He expressed his delight in the ride that he undertook in Vande Bharat Train and Ahmedabad Metro.
The Prime Minister praised the sound-proofing inside the Vande Bharat Express where the sound was reduced to a hundredth when compared to what is experienced inside an airline.
On a personal note, the Prime Minister thanked the people of Ahmedabad for a huge turnout and in a light-hearted manner, recounted the wisdom and calculation of Ahmedabad commuters.
“I can not salute Ahmedabad enough, today, Ahmedabad has won my heart,” a visibly moved Prime Minister said.
He remarked that India of the 21st century is going to get new momentum from the cities of the country.
“With the changing times, it is necessary to continuously modernise our cities with the changing needs,” he said.
He pointed out that the system of transport in the city should be modern and should have seamless connectivity where one mode of transport supports the other.
“Dozens of smaller cities have been connected via air connectivity and UDAN scheme. Similarly, Railways stations are undergoing transformation,” he said.
“Today, Gandhinagar Railway Station is no less than any airport in the world,” he added.
Citing the success of Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, the Prime Minister elaborated on the success of twin-city development concept. He said that many twin cities like Anand-Nadiad, Bharuch Ankaleshwar, Valsad and Vapi, Surat and Navsari, Vadodara – Halol Kalol, Morvi-Wankaner and Mehsana Kadi are going to further strengthen Gujarat’s identity.
Modi underlined the role of cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur in ensuring the developed status in the coming 25 years.
The Prime Minister highlighted that along with the focus on improving and expanding old cities, new cities are being developed according to the demands of global businesses.
“GIFT Cities are also a very good example of such plug and play facilities,” he added.
Talking about the Vande Bharat Express, the Prime Minister pointed out that the journey between the two big cities of Ahmedabad and Mumbai will become comfortable while also reduce the distance.
The Prime Minister further added that an express train takes roughly seven to eight hours to complete the journey from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, whereas a Shatabdi train takes six and half to seven hours.
On the other hand, the Vande Bharat Express will take a maximum of five and a half hours to complete the journey from Gandhinagar to Mumbai, the Prime Minister remarked.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Vande Bharat Express can accommodate more passengers than other trains. The Prime Minister also recounted his interaction with the technicians and engineers who designed and made the Vande Bharat Coaches and expressed his admiration for their initiative and confidence.
Recalling his conversation on Kashi Railway Station when the Prime Minister was informed about the rush for availability in Vande Bharat Express, the Prime Minister said that it was the go-to train for the labourers and the poor due to the increased luggage room and reduced travel time.
This is the power of Vande Bharat, he added.
The Prime Minister also explained that due to ‘double-engine government’ clearances and other permissions for the metro projects were obtained very quickly for fast completion of the project.
Route planning for Metro was done while keeping the needs of the poor and needy in mind. Kalupur is getting a multi-modal hub, he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the government launched the FAME scheme to manufacture and operate electric buses so that the poor, middle class friends of cities can get rid of the smoke emanating from the buses.
“So far, more than seven thousand electric buses have been approved in the country under this scheme. Central government has spent close to Rs. 3,500 crore on these electric buses,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister informed that 850 electric buses have been introduced in the state of Gujarat as part of this scheme so far, of which a hundred are already running on the roads of Gujarat.
Calling out the Central governments of the past, the Prime Minister pointed out the negligent amount of work done to clear out the traffic jams in the cities.
Modi interjected that the India of 21st century considers speed to be a critical factor and guarantee of expeditious development.
“We are working rapidly on running 75 Vande Bharat Trains by August, next year. The beauty of India’s Vande Bharat train is that it reaches the speed of 100 kmph in just 52 seconds,” he informed.
Speaking about the developments made in the railway network, the Prime Minister highlighted that a large part of the country’s railway network has been freed from unmanned gates.
“Once the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors are ready, the speed of goods trains will also increase and delays in passenger trains will also be reduced,” he added.
He said that in the last 8 years, the government has linked infrastructure with people’s aspirations.
“There was a time when announcements regarding infrastructure were made keeping in mind the electoral gains and losses only. The income of the taxpayer was used only for political interests. The double engine government has changed this thinking,” he said in a crime attack on Congress led governments.
He expressed a wish that students of schools and engineering fields should be sensitized to the huge work that goes into the construction of underground and overground Metro and the type of investment that goes into it.
Phase-I of Ahmedabad Metro project comprises about 32 km of the East-West corridor from Apparel park to Thaltej and the North-South corridor between Motera to Gyaspur.
The Thaltej-Vastral route in the East-West corridor has 17 stations. This corridor also has a 6.6 km underground section with four stations. The 19 km North-South corridor that connects Gyaspur to Motera Stadium has 15 stations.
The entire Phase 1 project is built at a cost of more than ₹12,900 crores. Ahmedabad Metro is a massive state of art infrastructure project involving underground tunnels, viaducts & bridges, elevated and underground station buildings, ballastless rail tracks and driverless train operation compliant rolling stock etc.
The metro train set is equipped with an energy-efficient propulsion system which can save about 30-35% of energy consumption.
The train has a state of art suspension system providing a very smooth riding experience to passengers.