New Delhi, Jan 31: Highlighting India's increasing ultra-modern facilities and time-bound completion of railway projects, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the government has taken care to address the issue of accidents due to unmanned railway crossings.
In his address to the Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, President said the passengers will also be able to avail the ultra-modern facilities of the fastest train till date – ‘Vande Bharat Express’.
"Tragic accidents at unmanned railway crossings have for years been a subject of discussion in our country. This subject has also been raised many times in the Parliament. In 2014, unmanned crossings in the country numbered 8,300. My Government undertook a mission to eliminate unmanned railway crossings, which have now almost been done away with," he said.
Hailing tourism and transport sectors for working towards bringing about a transformation especially in the lives of the people of North-East, the President said almost all the railway lines of the North-East have been converted to broad gauge.
''Efforts are underway to provide rail connectivity to the capital cities of all the eight states. For this, the work on 15 new rail lines is under progress at a cost of approximately Rs 50,000 crores,'' he said.
Stating that the government believes that eastern part of India comprising east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and the states in North- East, have the potential to become a new ‘Growth Engine’, Mr Kovind said, ''Our government is relentlessly striving to strengthen the infrastructure related to railways, highways, waterways and airways in Eastern India.''
Throwing light on timely completion of developmental projects, Mr Kovind said India’s longest Bogibeel railroad bridge in Assam, Western Peripheral Expressway near Delhi, Kollam Bypass in Kerala have been fast tracked and completed.
''By completing these projects, my Government has done justice to the resources of the nation and aspirations of the people,'' he added. The Dhola Sadiya Bridge named after Bhupen Hazarika, linking Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has already been dedicated to the nation, he said.
Lauding the achievements in various infrastructure-related projects, the President said, ''Be it the country’s fastest train, the highest bridge, the longest sea-link, the longest tunnel, construction of highways at double the speed or gauge conversion of railway tracks, modern facelift of railway stations or metro projects in cities, air connectivity among small towns or construction of a new waterway, the Government is rapidly developing modern infrastructure in all these areas.''
He also said: "We are all familiar with the ordeals faced by Divyangjans (handicapped) at railway stations and bus stands while commuting. "My Government under the ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’ has made about 1,000 Government buildings and more than 650 railway stations fully accessible to Divyangjans," he said. (UNI)