Maligaon, 30th December, 2022:
Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi virtually flagged off the 7th Vande Bharat Express connecting Howrah to New Jalpaiguri on 30th December, 2022. Apart from this Hon’ble Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for redevelopment of New Jalpaiguri station and dedicated the stretch of 88.17 km long Ambari Falakata – New Maynaguri and New Maynaguri – Gumanihat Double Line project to the nation.Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose, Governor of West Bengal; Smt Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal and Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology were present at Howrah station. Shri John Barla, Union Minster of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs; Dr Subhas Sarkar, Union Minster of State for Eduaction; Shri Nisith Parmanik, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Shri Prasun Banerjee were those present on occasion among others. The programme was virtually attended from New Jalpaiguri station by Shri Raju Bista, Hon’ble MP of Lok Sabha; Md. Ghulam Rabbani, Hon’ble Minister of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education, Govt. of West Bengal; Dr. Sankar Ghosh, Shri Anandamoy Barman, Shri Bishnu Prasad Sharma and Shri Ruden Sada Lepcha, Members of Legislative Assembly (West Bengal) in presence of large gathering. Shri Anshul Gupta, General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway along with other senior officials of Headquarter and Divisions were also present at New Jalpaiguri Station during the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Prime Minister said that India had taken a resolve to start 475 Vande Bharat trains during the celebrations of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the train being flagged off today from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri is one of them. Mentioning the multiple projects whose foundation stones are being laid and inaugurated today, the Hon’ble Prime Minister said that the government is spending approximately 5000 crores for the completion of these projects. He further added that a nationwide campaign is going on to transform the Indian Railway. Mentioning about PM Gati Shakti, Hon’ble Prime Minister said that different state governments, construction agencies and industry experts everyone is coming together on the Gati Shakti Platform. PM Gati Shakti is not only limited to conjoining the different mediums of transport in the country but also providing pace to the multimodal projects.
The Vande Bharat Express offers a myriad of superior and aircraft-like travelling experiences. It is equipped with advanced state-of-the-art safety features including an indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System - KAVACH. It will also have a Wi-Fi content on-demand facility. Every coach is equipped with 32” screens providing passenger information and infotainment and side recliner seat facility. Executive Coaches have the added feature of 180-degree rotating seats. Semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph and has travel classes like Shatabdi trains but with better facilities. The Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express will be in operation from both directions six days a week except Wednesday. Train No. 22301 (Howrah – New Jalpaiguri) Vande Bharat Express will depart from Howrah at 05:55 hours to reach New Jalpaiguri at 13:25 hours on the same day. In return direction, Train No. 22302 (New Jalpaiguri – Howrah) Vande Bharat Express will depart from New Jalpaiguri at 15:05 hours to reach Howrah at 22:35 hours on the same day. During it both ways journey the Vande Bharat Express will have stoppages at Bolpur (Shantiniketan), Malda Town and Barsoi stations. The train will bring down travel time between Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri, the gateway to the Northeast considerably.
The New Jalpaiguri Railway station will be set up as first international train terminal of the country with world class facilities which will include terminal for the UNESCO world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Redevelopment of New Jalpaiguri station will help in boosting various sectors of local economy including travel, tourism etc in North Bengal as well as Sikkim. The Ambari Falakata – New Maynaguri – Gumanihat Double Line project covering a length of 88.17 km is spreaded over Coochbehar & Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal. The doubling line which serves as a crucial point for all the North-eastern states will provide benefit to local industries in area and will provide boost to agriculture industry in adjoining areas.