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  • No increase in rail charges will be made in the pretext of station renovation, according to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi lay the cornerstone for the renovation of 508 stations throughout the nation on Sunday, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw claimed there had been no fare increase in the name of the station reconstruction project.

Vaishnaw said that the project is intended to provide smooth transit for passengers across all strata of society and that the approximately Rs 25,000 crore needed for the reconstruction project will be allocated under the current Budget.

The Railways has envisioned a strategy to transform around 1,300 important stations across the nation into “Amrit Bharat Stations.” The first of 508 Amrit Bharat Stations’ foundation stones was set on Sunday by Prime Minister Modi.

At an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore apiece, 55 of these stations would be built in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, 34 in Madhya Pradesh, at a cost of roughly Rs 1,000 crore, and 44 in Maharashtra, at a cost of roughly Rs 1,500 crore. In addition, a number of railway stations will undergo renovations, including those in Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

According to Vaishnaw, the Railways is educating the 9,000 engineers who will work on the station renovation project on the finer points of the project, including the study of contract documents, architecture, design, and safety.

“No state has been treated differently because of this project. We will be able to observe significant development in the work during the following two years. Fair development is something we support. In order to demonstrate the urgency with which the project must be finished, Modiji has consistently stated that both the project’s foundation stone and its official opening will be laid.

The railways minister said it was a peculiar issue because the state administration in Kerala has very little interest in development in response to a query about long-pending projects like the Sabarimala Rail.

“The development of the state is not something that the Kerala administration is particularly interested in. This is why it’s so tough to complete any work, even simple tasks like conducting surveys or writing in-depth project reports, since we encounter so much resistance. Even so, the Centre remains dedicated to expanding Kerala’s rail system.

“I’ll provide you with an example… The Keralan political elite invented a completely fictitious story to the effect that the state would not receive the Vande Bharat train. But as you can see, every state with an electrified broad gauge network has been accorded Vande Bharat. We think that the entire nation should develop concurrently, but we need the assistance of the state governments,” he stated.

Earlier, during the foundation-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Modi stated that the length of rail tracks installed in the nation over the past nine years exceeds the combined rail networks of South Africa, Ukraine, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.

Modi added that India built more railway tracks in the previous year than the combined networks of South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia.

“Our administration has prioritised building out the railroads in the northeast. Railway line doubling, gauge conversion, electrification, and the building of additional routes are all being completed quickly. The Northeast’s state capitals will soon be connected by a rail network.

“After a century, Nagaland has its second railway station. Additionally, three times as many new rail lines are being commissioned in the northeast than there were previously, according to him.

According to Modi, the government is aiming to make rail travel both convenient and enjoyable today. The goal, he continued, is to give passengers the best experience possible while they are in a train or station.

Source- The print


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