Pinarayi thanks PM for Vande Bharat train; expresses hope more will follow

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday expressed the state's gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocating a Vande Bharat train for the state and dedicating several development projects to the nation.

This is for the first time that the CM, who has been aggressively campaigning for the proposed SilverLine semi-high speed rail corridor project, is making any remark regarding the southern state's reception of the Vande Bharat.

Vijayan, during his brief speech, said he was placing Kerala's "gratitude to you for allocating a Vande Bharat train" and expressed hope that more would follow.

"Developing our railway stations, laying new railway lines, doubling and electrifying existing railway lines, improving our signal systems, increasing the speed of our trains and introducing new trains are all initiatives that need special focus," he said.

Stating that if the union and state governments work together with dedication, wonders could be made in such areas.

In the days to come, "let us make the development of Kerala a touchstone of cooperative federalism," the CM told the Prime Minister.

Interestingly, he did not mention about his government's proposed ambitious SilverLine semi-high speed rail corridor project, which was forced to be shelved due to protest by local people in some parts of the state and also because of lack of necessary clearance from the Centre.

Thanking the Prime Minister for laying the foundation stone of the Digital Science Park and dedicating the Kochi Water Metro to the nation, Vijayan said he was sure both these initiatives under the Government of Kerala will emerge as models for the entire country.

The Kerala chief minister also listed out a series of welfare and development projects being implemented by the LDF government and said its objective is to transform the southern state into a knowledge economy and innovative society.

While implementing all these projects, the state government is also going ahead ensuring that no one in the society is excluded from enjoying the benefits of development and welfare schemes and projects. PTI

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