PM Modi flagging off Vande Bharat Express in Kerala | Photo: ANI
Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express at 11.10 am in Thiruvananthapuram. Thousands of people gathered in and around the city to catch a glimpse of the leader, who was received by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Shashi Tharoor, MP and Mayor Arya Rajendran.
The prime minister, who arrived at the central railway station around 10.45 am, interacted with school children inside the Vande Bharat Express ahead of the flag-off ceremony. The train will embark on its maiden journey only with people on invitation.
Vande Bharat train, which began service from Thiruvananthapuram Central Station, will cover 11 districts namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod.
The train is an indigenously manufactured, semi-high speed and self-propelled train set. It is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities, including CCTV surveillance. The executive class has also been equipped with 180 degrees rotating seats providing passengers a more comfortable and convenient travel experience.
The train will take 8 hours and 5 minutes to reach Kasaragod from Thiruvananthapuram and will operate on all days except Thursdays. It will halt at 14 stations and offer a total of 1000 seats; 914 AC chair cars and 86 executive cars. The tickets can be booked through the IRCTC website, mobile app and reservation counters at railway stations.
From the Central, Modi will travel to Kerala Central Stadium in the capital city for attending various other programmes and laying a foundation stone for the country's first Digital Science Park. He will also inaugurate the Kochi Water Metro, that connects 10 islands around Kochi through battery-operated electric hybrid boats for seamless connectivity with the city.
During the event, Modi will also lay the foundation of various rail projects including the redevelopment of Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Varkala Sivagiri railway stations; comprehensive development of Thiruvananthapuram area including Nemon and Kochuveli and increasing of sectional speed of Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur section.
Apart from the water metro, rail electrification of the Dindigul-Palani-Palakkad section will also be dedicated by the prime minister. Around 12.40 pm, he will depart from Kerala to Gujarat.
With agency inputs