Multiple projects inaugurated and dedicated to nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Multiple projects inaugurated and dedicated to nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
A new chapter has been added in the robust growth of Indian Railways with Gandhinagar Capital station taking a smart shape as India's first ultra-modern airport like railway station and redefining the entire concept of rail travel. Taking ahead his vision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated multiple rail projects to the nation carried out in the state of Gujarat.
The projects are newly redeveloped Gandhinagar Capital railway station, Gauge Converted cum Electrified Mahesana – Varetha line including Vadnagar station, the newly electrified Surendranagar – Pipavav section and also flagged off two new trains, Gandhinagar Capital – Varanasi Superfast Express and MEMU train between Gandhinagar Capital and Varetha on 16th July, 2021, through video conferencing. With the opening of the Gauge Converted cum Electrified Mahesana – Varetha line and the newly electrified Surendranagar – Pipavav section, a seamless connectivity, faster as well as eco-friendly mode of transportation by rail has been established to these regions from various parts of the country.
According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, Amit Shah, Union Minister for Home and Cooperation graced the occasion through video conferencing from New Delhi while Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Ashwini Vaishnaw – Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Nitin Patel - Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat and Darshanaben Jardosh - Union Minister of State for Textiles & Railways were the other distinguished guests who were present in the function held at Gandhinagar railway station. Various Ministers of Government of Gujarat were also present at major enroute stations wherein the newly introduced trains were passing through.
Suneet Sharma – Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western & Central Railway were also present at Gandhinagar station alongwith senior railway officers.
Thakur informed that Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Home and Co-operation Amit Shah and Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani delivered speeches on this occasion. This was trailed by the screening of a short film showcasing the various milestones attained in commissioning of these multifaceted infrastructural rail projects. Thereafter, Prime Minister dedicated to the nation two major railway projects & inaugurated the newly redeveloped Gandhinagar Capital railway station by unveiling the plaques. He also flagged off the newly introduced trains, Gandhinagar Capital – Varanasi Superfast Express and Gandhinagar Capital - Varetha MEMU train from Gandhinagar Capital station. With the introduction of new Gandhinagar Capital – Varanasi Superfast Express train, the sacred land of Somnath has been connected to the Holy City of Kashi Vishwanath. The event was followed by dedication of other projects of Government. of Gujarat.
Speaking on this occasion, Prime Minister stressed that India's needs of the 21st century cannot be met by the modus operandi of the 20th century. Therefore, there was a need for a fresh reform in the railways. He said that today the results of efforts to develop railways not just as a service but as an asset are visible. He said today major railway stations across the country are being modernised. Even railway stations in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are now equipped with Wi-Fi facilities. The unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge have been completely eliminated to enhance safety of the people. The Prime Minister emphasized on the critical role played by railways in a vast country like India. He said that railways also bring new dimensions of development, new dimensions of facilities. Due to the effort of the last few years, today trains are reaching the capitals of the North East for the first time.
"Today Vadnagar has also become a part of this expansion. I have so many memories attached to Vadnagar station. The new station looks really attractive. With the construction of this new broad gauge line, the Vadnagar-Modhera-Patan heritage circuit is now connected with better rail service", said the Prime Minister. He remarked that the vehicle of development of New India will move forward only by moving on two tracks simultaneously. One track is of modernity, the other track is for the welfare of the poor, farmers and middle class.
Thakur stated that Railways have contributed in a big way towards the multi-faceted development of Gujarat state which is renowned for its vibrant culture. The Mahesana – Varetha Gauge conversion of 55 km has been completed at a cost of Rs. 293.14 crores alongwith the electrification work at a cost of Rs. 74.66 crores. The total cost of the project is Rs. 367.80 crores. It has total of 10 stations with four newly developed station buildings viz. Visnagar, Vadnagar, Kheralu & Varetha. The Gauge Conversion with electrification has connected this section to Mahesana including Ahmedabad – Delhi Broad Gauge line. The Mahesana – Varetha section has been electrified under Mission 100% Railway Electrification policy. This will provide cleaner, greener, faster & environment friendly Rail Transportation which will reduce carbon footprint. This isolated section will also experience a socio-economic boom, by opening doors for bigger opportunities for the locals residing in this area.
A major station on Mahesana-Varetha section is Vadnagar, a historically important town, which has been developed under the Vadnagar – Modhera – Patan Heritage Circuit. The station building has been designed aesthetically using stone carvings, Entry and Exit gates have been architecturally designed as well as circulating area has been provided with landscaping. Vadnagar is now connected with rest of the country through broad gauge line and passenger & goods trains can be run seamlessly on this section.
Along with these projects, the Surendranagar - Pipavav electrification project has been completed providing impetus to the much-aspired Mission 100% Electrification over Indian Railways. The Surendranagar – Pipavav Electrified section (264 RKM) with High Rise OHE has been completed at a total cost of Rs 289.47 crores in a record time of three years and commissioned in February 2021. It is one of best project delivery over Indian Railways. This is a very important Port connectivity route & feeder route to Western Dedicated Freight corridor. This route establishes seamless movement of heavy load freight trains including double stack containers, from Pipavav Port to northern parts of country. Additionally, upon electrification of adjoining small patches of Dhola - Bhavnagar and Rajula - Mahuva sections, all Mail /Express and passenger trains will also be taken over to Electric traction, thus establishing faster and seamless connectivity with Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai and other destinations in southern, northern & north-eastern regions of country. The project will benefit by providing seamless freight movement from Palanpur, Ahmedabad and other parts of country upto Pipavav Port without any change of traction. It will also decongest Ahmedabad, Viramgam and Surendranagar Yards due to avoidance of detentions for loco change over.
With electrification of adjoining small patches Dhola – Bhavnagar/ Sehor – Palitana and Rajula – Mahuva sections, all passenger/Mail express trains will be switched to electric traction thereby establishing direct & faster connectivity with Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai, New Delhi and other parts of country. It is faster, economical & eco-friendly mode of traction providing saving of approx. Rs. 31.36 crores p.a on account of migration from costly diesel fuel to electric energy.
Indian Railways is leaping ahead with transformational milestones each & every day. In this direction, the world class Railway Station has been developed at Gandhinagar Capital. A Joint Venture SPV namely Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development (GARUD) company was formed with Government of Gujarat and Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) for the redevelopment of the station. The upgradation of Gandhinagar Capital Railway station has been done at a cost of Rs 71.50 crore.
Gandhinagar Capital Railway station has some unique features like a column free, sleek and economical space frame of 105meter span which is the longest on Indian Railways. The civil structure has been designed with 120 years of life. The Reinforcement steel is provided with IP coating for longevity. The roof is covered with KALZIP Aluminium sheeting over all platforms for providing good comfort from sun/ rain to the passengers. It is for the first time in India that a 5 star Hotel has been built over Running Live Railway tracks. The construction malba generated at site has been reused in the filling of low-lying areas of the peripheral road. The station concourse has an area of 7096 sqm which can be used in future for commercialization to house multiplexes, shopping centres, Food & Beverage courts etc.
With an aim of giving priority to passenger satisfaction, Gandhinagar Capital station has been developed jeweled with amenities at par with modern airports for a pleasurable experience. There is segregated Entry and Exit surrounded by landscaped area. Parking facilities have been provided for more than 300 vehicles. There is an inter-faith prayer hall, art gallery with LED wall display lounge, baby feeding room, centralized AC waiting hall, Double height entrance lobby with spacious ticketing facility etc. Special Care has been taken to make it a Divyang friendly station by providing it with a special ticket booking counter, ramps, lifts, dedicated parking space etc.
In terms of vertical circulation, escalators and elevators have been provided at the station. Seamless Wi-Fi connectivity is available on the station. The 3 platforms are well connected through 2 subways. The centralized AC multipurpose waiting lounge has a capacity to seat 40 people. The waiting area at the platform too has a capacity to seat almost 500 passengers. With regard to safety, the entire station, including platforms have been provided with fire hydrant system and extinguishers. The Arrival and Departure areas and subway are well protected by fire detection and fire sprinklers. The complete building is designed and provided with Green Building rating features and certified GEM 5 Sustainability Standards Green Certification from ASSOCHAM. The state-of-the-art external façade will have daily theme-based lighting with 32 themes.
It is worth mentioning that with the opening of Gandhinagar Capital station, there will be paradigm shift in the outlook of railway stations in India. This new age station will define the rising image of New Railways in the New & Emerging India. It will transform the travelling experience over Indian Railways. The new developed Gandhinagar Capital station building will provide plethora of amenities and a unique experience to the passengers and cater to every comfort making travelling delightful.