Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to flag off the country’s fourth Vande Bharat Express train in Himachal Pradesh’s Una on Thursday. He will also launch a slew of developmental projects in the northern state.
As per the PM’s itinerary, the inaugural run of the new Vande Bharat Express from Amb Andaura to New Delhi will be flagged off in Una. After this, the PM will dedicate the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) to the nation, and lay the foundation stone of a Bulk Drug Park.
In Chamba district, he will lay the foundation stones of two hydropower projects and launch the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-III in Himachal Pradesh. The PM will also address two public meetings in Una and Chamba in the poll-bound state. This would be Modi’s ninth visit to the state in the last five years, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, PM Modi said, “I will be among the people of Himachal Pradesh tomorrow, 13th October. Looking forward to the programmes in Una and Chamba where many development works will be inaugurated which are aimed at further increasing the pace of progress in the state.”
“You would be glad to know that the Vande Bharat Express would be flagged off. IIIT, Una will also be dedicated to the nation. The foundation stone of a Bulk Drug Park will be laid. These works will give wings to people’s aspirations.”
“In Chamba, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-III in Himachal Pradesh would be launched. This will augment the roads network across the state. Tourism and economic activities will also pick up due to this. The foundation stone for two hydropower projects will also be laid,” he said.
The fourth Vande Bharat train is an advanced version compared to the earlier ones — it is much lighter and capable of reaching higher speed in shorter duration, as per officials. It will run six days a week except on Wednesdays, with stops at Ambala, Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib, and Una. It accelerates to 100 km per hour in just 52 seconds.
The foundation stone for IIT Una, which the PM will dedicate to the nation on Thursday, was laid by him in 2017. Currently, more than 530 students are pursuing studies in this institute.
The Bulk Drug Park in Una for which he will lay the foundation stone will be built at a cost of over Rs 1900 crore. The park will help reduce dependence on API imports. It is expected to attract investment of around Rs 10,000 crore and provide employment to more than 20,000 people. It will also give a fillip to economic activities in the region, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
After that, at a public function in Chamba, the PM will lay the foundation stone of the 48 MW Chanju-III hydro-electric project and the 30 MW Deothal Chanju hydro-electric project which will generate over 270 million units of electricity annually. Himachal Pradesh is expected to get annual revenue of around Rs 110 crore from these projects.
The prime minister will also launch Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-III in the state for upgrading of around 3125 km of roads. More than Rs 420 crore has been sanctioned by the Centre under this phase for the upgrade of 440 km of roads in 15 border and far-flung blocks of the state.
Himachal Pradesh goes to polls later this year.
(With PTI inputs)