BIG announcement from Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw: ‘India will have 400 Vande Bharat trains in the future’

aurangabad: As many as 200 train stations across the country are getting a facelift with modern amenities, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said here on Monday. He attended the foundation stone-laying ceremony for a carriage maintenance factory at Aurangabad Railway Station in central Maharashtra. “The tender process for 47 train stations has been completed, while physical work has started on 32 stations,” he said.

He said the railways are being transformed. “The government has prepared a master plan to renovate 200 train stations. The stations will create above-ground spaces with world-class facilities, including waiting lounges and food courts, in addition to entertainment facilities for children,” the minister said.

Vaishnaw also said train stations will act as the “platform” for the sale of regional products. Speaking about the contribution of the Marathwada region in Maharashtra in making Vande Bharat trains, the minister said: “The country will have 400 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains in the future and 100 of these trains will be manufactured at the bus factory in Latur in Marathwada. The necessary changes in the factory are already underway”.

Currently, three Vande Bharat trains are operational and the last one, between Mumbai Central-Gandhinagar, was launched last week.

The first coaches of Vande Bharat’s upgraded version will roll out of the Marathwada Rail Coach Factory in Latur in 13 to 14 months, he said. “The recently launched Vande Bharat trains have also sparked interest outside of India and therefore the buses required for them will be manufactured at the Marathwada factory. All necessary preparations have been made. As many as 1,600 coaches will be manufactured at the factory,” Vaishnaw said.

The railway car factory in Latur will give impetus to the development of Marathwada and thereby other related projects will be set up and employment will be created on a large scale, the minister said.

Vaishnaw said the government does not give the reason regarding the ‘Rate of Return’ for approving a project. He said all parts of the country will now be connected by highways or railways under the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti plan, and parts of Marathwada will also be connected.

The coach maintenance facility in Aurangabad has a capacity of 18 coaches, but Ambadas Danve, Maharashtra’s opposition leader in the Legislative Council, demanded that this capacity be expanded to 24 coaches. Vaishnaw instructed officials to review Danve’s demand and send a proposal within 15 days.

On the occasion, Minister of State for Railways and Jalna MP, Raosaheb Danve, said that the central government has sanctioned Rs 11,000 crore for Maharashtra, which was previously Rs 1,100 crore. Finance Minister Bhagwat Karad demanded to carry out high-speed rail projects along the newly constructed Aurangabad-Pune Expressway.

Aurangabad MP Imtiaz Jaleel demanded that the ROR condition be set aside while sanctioning projects for regions like Marathwada. Lok Sabha MP of Latur Sudhakar Shrangare and former State Minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, both BJP members, thanked Vaishnaw and junior Railway Minister Raosaheb Danve for giving Latur the train bus factory. Nilangekar said, “The railcar factory is the first such facility in Maharashtra.”

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