Bhopal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and flagged off five Vande Bharat trains connecting important cities in different parts of the country.
Modi reached Rani Kamalapati railway station in the state capital Bhopal from where he flagged off the five trains – two physically and three in virtual mode.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Jyotiraditya Scindia, among others, were present on the occasion.
“These trains will improve connectivity in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar and Jharkhand,” Modi said in a tweet on Monday.
This is for the first time so many Vande Bharat trains have been launched in one day.
Two of them are for Madhya Pradesh, where the Assembly polls are due by the year-end.
These semi high-speed trains are: Rani Kamalapati (Bhopal)-Jabalpur Vande Bharat Express, Khajuraho-Bhopal-Indore Vande Bharat Express, Madgaon (Goa)-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express, Dharwad-Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express, and Hatia-Patna Vande Bharat Express, as per an official statement.
The Rani Kamalapati-Jabalpur Vande Bharat Express will connect Mahakaushal region (Jabalpur) to the central region (Bhopal) of Madhya Pradesh.
Tourist places like Bheraghat, Pachmarhi, and Satpura, etc. will also be benefitted by the improved connectivity, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier said.
The train will be about 30 minutes faster than the existing fastest train on the route, it said.
The Khajuraho-Bhopal-Indore Vande Bharat Express will improve connectivity of Malwa region (Indore) and Bundelkhand region (Khajuraho) to Central region (Bhopal), the statement said.
It will benefit important tourist sites like Mahakaleshwar, Mandu, Maheshwar, Khajuraho and Panna. The train will be about two hours and 30 minutes faster than the existing fastest train on the route, it said.
The Madgaon (Goa)-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express is Goa’s first Vande Bharat Express.
It will run between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Goa’s Madgaon station. It will help save about an hour as compared to the current fastest train connecting the two places, the statement said.
The Dharwad-Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express will connect important cities in Karnataka — Dharwad, Hubballi and Davangere — with the state capital Bengaluru.
It will immensely benefit tourists, students and industrialists, etc in the region and will be about 30 minutes faster than the existing fastest train on the route, the statement said.
The Hatia-Patna Vande Bharat Express is the first Vande Bharat train for Jharkhand and Bihar.
Enhancing connectivity between Patna and Ranchi, the train will be a boon for tourists, students and businessmen, the statement said.
Compared to the current fastest train connecting the two places, the Hatia-Patna Vande Bharat Express will help save about one hour and 25 minutes of the journey time, it said.
Before flagging off the trains, Modi interacted with students on board one of the Vande Bharat trains here and the train staff.
Earlier, after arriving at the Bhopal airport in the morning, Modi was scheduled to reach the Rani Kamalapati railway station by helicopter, but because of bad weather he left for the venue by road, state BJP media in-charge Ashish Agrawal said.