PM Narendra Modi flags off a Vande Bharat Express at Rani Kamalapati Railway Station in Bhopal | ANI file photo

Modi gifts 2nd Vande Bharat, meditation centre, projects worth Rs 19,150 crore to Varanasi

The train, which is the second saffron-coloured express in the country, will run between Varanasi and Delhi six days a week, except Tuesdays.

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Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the second Varanasi-New Delhi Vande Bharat train in his Parliamentary constituency on Monday afternoon.

The train will be the Indian Railways’ second saffron-coloured express in the country, after the Kasargod-Thiruvananthapuram Vande Bharat which was inaugurated by Modi on 24 September.

The train’s inaugural run was shortly before 3 pm Monday, but its normal schedule will be from 6 am in the morning for six days a week, except Tuesday.

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The Northern Railway said the train has superior passenger amenities, including onboard Wi-Fi infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, plush interiors, bio-vacuum toilets with touch-free conveniences, diffused LED lighting, charging points beneath every seat, individual touch-based reading lights and concealed roller blinds.

“It has a better heat ventilation and air-conditioning system with UV lamps for germ-free supply of air. The intelligent air-conditioning system adjusts the cooling according to the climate conditions/occupancy,” the Northern Railway said in a statement.

The train will reach New Delhi at 2:05 pm and depart for Varanasi at 3:00 pm. It will reach its destination at 11:05 pm.

The first Vande Bharat train between the two cities, which rolled out in February 2019, starts from New Delhi at 6:00 am and reaches Varanasi at 2:00 pm. It departs for New Delhi at 3:00 pm and reaches by 11:00 pm. This train also runs six days a week, except Thursdays.

On the train’s saffron exterior, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said the choice of colour was informed by scientific thought and not politics.

He recently told reporters that two colours are the most-visible to the human eye – yellow and saffron. “In Europe, almost 80 percent of trains have either orange or a combination of yellow and orange,” Vaishnaw had said.

Meanwhile, Modi reached his Uttar Pradesh constituency on Sunday evening to inaugurate the second edition of the cultural festival, Kashi Tamil Sangamam, at the Namo Ghat. The festival is on till 30 December.

On Monday morning, he inaugurated the newly-built meditation centre Swarved Mahamandir in Umaraha, calling it “a modern symbol of India’s social and spiritual capabilities”. He added the reconstruction of India’s old cultural symbols had become necessary after Independence. “The work which started from Somnath has become a campaign.”

The Prime Minister then visited Barki village in Sewapuri to check on Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra events – which is a nation-wide government initiative to raise awareness and track the implementation of flagship central schemes. He interacted particularly with representatives of women self-help groups.

Modi also chatted with the winners of the games organised under the Kashi Sansad Sports Competition 2023 as part of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra in Barki.

The Prime Minister then inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for 37 projects in Varanasi worth Rs 19,150 crore. He inaugurated the new Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar-New Bhaupur Dedicated Freight Corridor, built at a cost of Rs 10,900 crore.

Apart from the Vande Bharat, Modi flagged off the Dohrighat-Mau MEMU train and a pair of long-haul goods trains at the new freight corridor. He also launched the 10,000th locomotive made by Banaras Locomotive Works.

Other railway projects he launched were the Ballia-Ghazipur City rail line doubling project, and the Indara-Dohrighat line gauge conversion among others.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated several road projects – including overbridges and road-widening – and greenlit residential buildings, police barracks, and a smart bus shelter.

At the event, Modi said the development of Varanasi was inextricably linked to that of Uttar Pradesh.

“And when Uttar Pradesh develops, the country marches ahead… That was the emotion behind the launch of these projects worth nearly Rs 20,000 crore,” he said.

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