Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Assam’s first Vande Bharat Express via video conferencing on May 29. The Vande Bharat Express will connect Guwahati with New Jalpaiguri Guwahati in 5 hours and 30 mins. The Prime Minister also dedicated 182 km route of newly electrified sections and inaugurated a newly constructed DEMU/MEMU shed at Lumding in Assam.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the day has huge significance for connectivity of the North East as three development projects are being accomplished together. PM Modi elaborated that North East is getting its first Vande Bharat Express on the day when West Bengal is getting its third. He said that approximately 425 km of railway tracks in Assam and Meghalaya have been electrified. He focused on the new DEMU/MEMU shed that he inaugurated in Lumding in Assam. The Prime Minister congratulated the people of the region and West Bengal on the occasion.
He said that this Vande Bharat will provide connectivity to Maa Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga, Manas National Park, and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Furthermore, the Prime Minister pointed out that it will enhance travel and tourism in Shillong and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya and Tawang and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who attended the ‘Vande Bharat Express’ flagging off ceremony at Guwahati Railway Station said that the event is a turning point in efforts to modernise North East’s rail network undertaken by NDA Governments since 2014 – ranging from from high speed train connectivity to a 400% increase in railway expenditure.