The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off two Vande Bharat trains at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai. The two trains are Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat and Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat. He also dedicated two road projects to the nation – the Santacruz Chembur Link Road and Kurar underpass project to ease road traffic congestion and streamline the movement of vehicles in Mumbai.
Upon arriving at Platform No.18 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Prime Minister inspected the Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat. He also interacted with the train crew and the children inside the coach.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that it is a huge day for Railways in India, especially for advanced connectivity in Maharashtra as this is the first time that two Vande Bharat trains have been flagged off on the same day. He underlined that these Vande Bharat trains will connect economic centers such as Mumbai and Pune to centers of faith, thereby benefiting those traveling for college, office, business, pilgrimage and agricultural purposes. He said that traveling to sacred places like Shirdi, Nasik, Trimbakeshwar and Panchvati will be made easier with the new Vande Bharat trains which will give a boost to tourism as well as pilgrimage. “The pilgrimages of Pandharpur, Solapur, Akkalkot and Tuljapur will also be made more accessible with the Solapur Vande Bharat Express”, he said.
The Prime Minister also said that the Vande Bharat train is a grand picture of modern India. ‘It is a reflection of India’s speed and scale.’ Commenting on the speed of the launch of Vande Bharat Trains, the Prime Minister informed that so far, 10 Vande Bharat trains have started operating connecting 108 districts of 17 States of the country. He expressed happiness that many projects will enhance the ease of living. He said that the elevated road will connect eastern and western suburban areas and the underpass is significant.
The Prime Minister reiterated the need for improving public transport for 21st-century India as it will lead to massive ease of living for the citizens. This thinking, he pointed out, is behind the launch of modern trains, the expansion of the metro, and new airports and ports. The Budget also strengthens this thinking as for the first time, 10 lakh crore were allocated exclusively for infrastructure development. In this Railway’s share is 2.5 lakh crore, he added. The Prime Minister said that the Rail Budget for Maharashtra also witnessed an unprecedented rise and expressed the hope that with the efforts of the double-engine government, connectivity in Maharashtra will move ahead rapidly.
“The middle class has been strengthened in this budget”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined that the needs of both the salaried class and those who own businesses have been addressed in this year’s Budget. He noted that people with an income of more than 2 lakh rupees were taxed before 2014 but it was the present Government that initially increased it to 5 lakh rupees and now to 7 lakh rupees in this year’s Budget. “Those who paid 20% tax in the UPA Government pay zero tax today”, he remarked. He also highlighted that those with new jobs now have an opportunity to save more.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that this Budget that promotes the spirit of ‘Sabka Vikas Sabka Prayas’ will give strength to every family and encourage everyone to build a Viksit Bharat, he concluded.
Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Shri Narayan Rane, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Union Ministers of State, and Ministers from Government of Maharashtra were present on the occasion among others.