Una/Chamba: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the day-long visit of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday flagged off the high-speed luxury fourth Vande Bharat Express and laid the foundation stones of Bulk Drug Park that will attract investment of around Rs 10,000 crore and provide employment to more than 20,000 people, and two mega hydropower projects.
This is the Prime Minister’s ninth visit to the state in five years and second in almost a week.
Besides flagging off the train and laying the foundation stone of Bulk Drug Park, he also inaugurated the Rs 128 crore Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) set up in Una well ahead of the Assembly polls in the BJP-ruled state.
Later, the Prime Minister laid foundation stones for two hydropower projects of nearly Rs 700 crore and launched the Rs 3,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-III at another function in Chamba town.
After launching development projects at both places, Modi at public meetings said these will have a positive impact on the region’s progress and this became a reality with the state’s double-engine government that has ensured “approvals for projects and their fast progress”.
At both venues, chants of ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’ echoed in the air.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, who is leading the party’s election campaign that has gained momentum, said this was the ninth visit of the Prime Minister which reflected his bonding with the state and its people.
He said Congress leaders were baffled due to the visits of the Prime Minister, as they knew the Congress would be completely wiped out from the state in the coming Assembly elections.
With the launch of the Vande Bharat Express service, the travel time between Delhi and Chandigarh would be brought down to three hours. From October 19, it will run six days a week, except Friday.
Running from Amb Andaura to New Delhi, the inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express is the fourth Vande Bharat train to be introduced in the country and is an advanced version compared to the earlier ones, being much lighter and capable of reaching higher speed in shorter duration.
It accelerates to 100 km per hour in just 52 seconds. The introduction of the train will help boost tourism in the region and provide a comfortable and faster mode of travel.
The Prime Minister’s clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India has led to the country moving swiftly towards the attainment of self-reliance across multiple sectors, through the support of various new initiatives of the government.
One such key sector is pharmaceuticals, and in order to bring in Aatmanirbharta in this sector, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Bulk Drug Park at Haroli to be built at a cost of Rs 1,923 crore.
The park will help reduce dependence on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or pharmaceutical raw material imports. It is expected to attract investment of around Rs 10,000 crore and provide employment to more than 20,000 people. It will also give a fillip to the economic activities in the region.