Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu to the nation and inaugurated new rail lines and electrification projects in Bihar for the benefit of passengers through video conference on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said a new history was created in the field of rail connectivity in Bihar. He said projects worth about Rs 30 billion like the inauguration of the Kosi Mahasetu and Kiul Bridge, electrification projects, promotion of Make in India in the Indian Railways and a dozen new job-creating projects had been launched. These projects would not only strengthen Bihar’s rail network but also strengthen West Bengal and Eastern India’s rail connectivity as well.
The prime minister congratulated the people of Bihar for the new and modern facilities which would benefit the railway passengers of eastern India including Bihar. He said many parts of Bihar were cut off from each other due to many rivers crisscrossing the state and people had to perform long journeys due to this. He said four years ago, the construction of the two Mahasetu was started in Patna and in Munger to solve this problem. With the commissioning of these two rail bridges, the travel between northern and southern parts of the state would get eased.
He said a severe earthquake that had occurred eight-and-a-half decades ago isolated the Mithila and Kosi regions in the state and it was a coincidence that both the regions were being interlinked amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the Supaul-Asanpur-Kupha rail route was being dedicated to the nation due to the hard work of the migrant labourers who were also involved in the construction of the bridge. He said this new Kosi rail line was envisaged in 2003 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and Nitish Kumar was the Railway Minister, to overcome the problems of the people of Mithila and Kosi region. He said this project was fast-tracked by the present Central Government and work had been completed on the Supaul-Asanpur-Kupaha route using modern technology.
The Prime Minister said that with a new rail service commencing between Supaul-Asanpur via Kosi Mahasetu will greatly benefit the people of Supaul, Araria and Saharsa districts. This would also make an alternative rail route to the people of the Northeast. He said the Mahasetu would help reduce a journey of 300 km to 22 km and it would also promote business activity in the entire region.
The Prime Minister said like Kosi Mahasetu, a new rail route on Kiul River with the electronic interlocking facility trains would be able to run at the speed of 125 km per hour on the entire route. He added electronic interlocking will ease the movement of trains on the main rail line from Howrah-Delhi and will provide relief to unnecessary delays and travel would be safer.
He said that for the past six years efforts were being made to transform the Railways as per the aspirations of a new India to fulfill the expectations of an Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. He said that today the Railways was cleaner than ever before. He also added that the Railways’ operations had been made safer by eliminating unmanned rail crossings from the broad-gauge rail lines. He said the speed of the Railways had increased and Made in India trains like Vande Bharat Express were a symbol of self-reliance and modernisation.