Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates New Stretch Of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the Dedicated Freight Corridor project and hit out at previous governments for delaying it.
Modi inaugurated the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor via video conferencing and said the "roar" of self-reliance was clearly heard as the first freight train ran on it.
Attacking previous government, the prime minister said the project was given permission in 2006 but it was only on paper as the then government lacked the seriousness and urgency with which it had to take it up with the states.
By 2014, the budget had gone up by 11 times, the prime minister said.
The 351-kilometre section, which has been built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crore, will open new avenues for local industries in Uttar Pradesh.
The EDFC is 1,840-km-long and extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal.
Modi also inaugurated the EDFC's operation centre at Prayagraj and flagged off the first 1.5 km long goods trains.
The prime minister said that on coming to power, he personally monitored the project and held a dialogue with the stakeholders and got new technology as a result of which about 1,100 km work will be completed in the next few months.
Political apathy not just hampered the freight corridor project but also had a bearing on the entire Railways system, he said, adding that earlier the focus was on increasing number of trains for political benefit in elections and there was lack of investment in the tracks.
There was no seriousness towards modernisation of the rail network, trains were being run on slow speed and the entire network was full of dangerous unmanned crossings, he said.
Modi said that now Indian railways are more secure than before. In the past few years reforms have been carried out at all levels and can be seen, he added.
The new freight section will open new vistas of opportunity for local industries such as aluminium industry in Pukhrayan region of Kanpur Dehat, dairy sector of Auraiya, textile production and block printing of Etawah, glassware industry of Firozabad, pottery products of Khurja, asafoetida or 'heeng' production of Hathras, and locks and hardware of Aligarh district, according to officials.
The section will also decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi mainline and will enable the Indian Railways to run faster trains.