Guwahati, Aug 07, 2023, IANS
Guwahati, Aug 7 (IANS): Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday lauded the efforts of the Central government for taking the initiative to re-develop 32 railway stations in the state under the 'Amrit Bharat Station' initiative which was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.
The Assam Chief Minister also spoke on the changing habit of the people travelling nowadays in train due to transformation in the services.
Speaking at a programme related to the event of PM Modi in Guwahati, Sarma said: "The experience of travelling in the train has changed in the country in the last 10 years. It will further transform in the next few years. More than 50 stations in Assam will be re-developed under the central government’s latest initiative, out of which the beginning of the work in 32 stations was initiated by the Prime Minister."
He claimed that in the next two years, these railway stations will be transformed into state-of-the-art stations with the latest facilities.
According to the Chief Minister, every state in the northeast has been connected with the mainland of the country in the last few years.
The old meter gauge lines were replaced by broad gauge and electrification of the railway tracks at many places of the region also got completed.
"With the introduction of trains like Vande Bharat, people are now expressing desire to opt for train journeys instead of flight services," Sarma said.
"I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister for setting aside a substantial budget to improve the rail networks in the northeast."
The Assam Chief Minister further said that Narendra Modi has visualised a dream to convert India among three largest economies in the world.
"We have already become the fifth largest economy in the world. I believe that we can surpass Japan in the next few years to become the third largest economy," he added.
The foundation stone for re-development of 56 stations under Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) was laid on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Of 56 stations, there are 32 stations in Assam, 3 stations in Tripura, 16 stations in West Bengal, 3 stations in Bihar and one station each in Nagaland and Meghalaya.
“Rs 5,100 crore has been allocated for the re-development of 91 stations in the NFR," an official said.
According to the official statement, the scheme envisages development of stations on a continuous basis with a long-term approach.
It involves preparation of Master Plans and their implementation in phases to improve the amenities at the stations like improvement of station access, circulating areas, waiting halls, toilets, lift, escalators, free Wi-Fi, kiosks for local products through schemes like
'One Station One Product', better passenger information systems, executive lounges, nominated spaces for business meetings, landscaping etc., keeping in view the necessity at each such station.
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