‘Beyond Politics’: Shashi Tharoor Delighted Over Kerala’s First Vande Bharat Express Train

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‘Beyond Politics’: Shashi Tharoor Delighted Over Kerala’s First Vande Bharat Express Train

Kerala will receive its first Vande Bharat Express train on April 25. The semi-high-speed train will run between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod. Although, it is initially decided to operate between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur. It is reported that people of Kerala are happy with the arrival of Vande Bharat Express in their state. In fact, Shashi Tharoor, tweeted and shared his happiness over the commencement of Vande Bharat Express route in Kerala and its extension to Kasargod. The politician quoted the entire exercise as ‘Beyond Politics’. Also, he showed his interest in joining the flagging-off ceremony of the train.

Shashi Tharoor quoted, “Recalling my tweets of fourteen months ago suggesting #VandeBharat trains for Kerala. Delighted that @AshwiniVaishnaw has done just that. Looking forward to attending @narendramodi’s flagging off of the first train from Thiruvananthapuram on 25th. Progress must be beyond politics.

After demand from Congress UDF to extend the Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express train till Kasaragod, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday confirmed that the Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Vande Bharat Express, which happens to be the first semi-high speed train in God’s Own Country, will cover Kasaragod as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the train on April 25, 2023. He said the decision was taken following a request from Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan. Initially, the train was planned to run between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur.

“Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express has been extended to Kasaragod,” reported PTI quoting Vaishnaw. The minister also said the Railways is going to upgrade the tracks in Kerala in two phases. Under Phase I, Rs 381 crore has been sanctioned for converting the entire track from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram to a speed potential of 110 kmph. This will be done within one-and-a-half years, he said.

The second phase, which will involve straightening the turns and other necessary adjustments, will take two to three-and-a-half years to be completed, and after this, the speed potential of the track will be increased to 130 kmph, he added .

Also read – Vande Bharat Express: India’s Fastest Train Running At Average 83 Kmph Speed, Reveals RTI

Thiruvananthapuram is an important urban area which has a lot of small sub-cities around it. There were discussions with the state government over improving the connectivity of the region, Vaishnaw said. Efforts are also being made to decongest the Thiruvananthapuram station.

The minister also said that while as of now only one Vande Bharat Express has been allotted to Kerala, many more will be introduced in the future.

Earlier, the Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala urged the Union Railway Ministry to extend the route of the proposed Vande Bharat Express in the state up to Mangalore station in Karnataka so that people of Kerala’s northernmost district of Kasaragod can also benefit from it.

In a letter to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly VD Satheesan sought route extension to ensure “overall high-speed railway connectivity in the state”.

“Please note that Kasargod forms part of the existing railway system in the state and could have been seamlessly incorporated into the existing route of the Vande Bharat Express without much pain. Leaving out the northern district of Kasaragod is considered a grave injustice to the people of Kasaragod,” the LoP said.

Satheesan also pointed out that Kasaragod was a district in Kerala that had limited railway access and much more needed to be done to bring it up to par with other districts in the state.

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