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PM Modi flags off 8 trains to boost connectivity and tourism to Kevadiya

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JAN 18, 2021: PRIME Minister Mr Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off eight new trains facilitating seamless connectivity to Gujarat's Kevadiya, which houses the Statue of Unity.

"This is probably for the first time in the history of railways that so many trains from different locations of the country get flagged off to the same destination," he said during the videoconference of the launch.

Speaking about Gujarat, the PM said it is emerging as one of the biggest tourism destinations in the world.

"More visitors are coming to the Statue of Unity than the Statue of Liberty. Kevadiya is not a small place any more. It will become one of the most attractive tourist spots of the world," the Prime Minister said. According to estimates, more than 50 lakh visitors have seen the Statue of Unity since its inauguration and in the future, over 1 lakh visitors per day are expected as connectivity improves.

The trains being inaugurated connect Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Rewa, Chennai and Pratapnagar to Kevadiya.

Mentioning that one of the trains originate from the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station in Chennai, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Bharat Ratan MGR on his birth anniversary.

"Bharat Ratna MGR lives in the hearts of several people. Be it the world of films or politics, he was widely respected," he said, adding "His life was dedicated to the service of the poor."

The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Dabhoi - Chandod Gauge converted broad gauge railway line, Chandod - Kevadiya new broad gauge railway line, the newly electrified Pratapnagar - Kevadiya section and the new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya.

The Jan Shatabdi Express between Ahmedabad and Kevadiya will have Vistadome coaches.

Mr Modi dwelled on the transformation of Indian Railways through goal-centric effort and modernisation, terming the projects taken up in the last few years as "significant." He noted that even while expanding, India is ensuring the railways remains environment-friendly.

The Kevadiya station is India's first railway station to start with green building certification.

Today, the Prime Minister will launch two more projects in Gujarat, the ground breaking ceremony of Surat Metro Rail Project and the second phase of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project.