PM Modi lays foundation stone to redevelop Mata Vaishno Devi railway station in J&K

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Jammu: The Mata Vaishno Devi railway station in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra city will be redeveloped at a cost of Rs 40 crore to enhance the existing facilities and introduce new amenities for passengers.

The step is part of the Amrit Bharat Station scheme under which Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of 553 railway stations across the country at a cost of more than Rs 19,000 crore.

Union minister Jitendra Singh unveiled a plaque marking the formal redevelopment of the Mata Vaishno Devi railway station, which is part of his Udhampur parliamentary constituency.

The station is in Reasi district.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Singh said the inclusion of the Katra station in the Amrit Bharat Station scheme is reflective of the prime minister’s special focus for the development of this region.

Recalling that the station was among the first stations chosen for the rollout of the Vande Bharat train, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office said it also holds the distinction of being the first station in the country where a solar power facility was unveiled.

“As part of today’s endeavour, besides the Katra station, three other stations — Udhampur, Jammu and Budgam — will also be redeveloped as Amrit stations. Among the four, three are in the Jammu region. This reinforces the prime minister’s commitment for the development of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said.

He said the Katra station will emerge as an inter-modal station, integrating rail, road and air travel so that people can move from one mode to another seamlessly.

Singh said Modi has chosen Katra — the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine — as part of the country’s development journey.

“Ever since Modi assumed the country’s leadership, there has been a transformation in the citizens’ mindset,” he said, adding that the prime minister has ensured a level-playing field for the welfare of every person and region in the country.

The Union minister said it has been ensured that every citizen and region of the country utilises their maximum potential commensurate with their talent and resources.

“Now, a poor man’s son or daughter can dream big, compete in prestigious examinations like civil services and reach the corridors of power, irrespective of their religion, caste or region. Hopes have been rekindled and evils like corruption and nepotism have been curbed,” he said.

Singh said the number of development projects the country has seen in the last 10 years is unparalleled. “The pace of development has been accelerated to realise the goal of Viksit Bharat,” he added.

The 553 railway stations chosen for redevelopment under the Amrit Bharat Station scheme are spread across 27 states and Union territories.

These stations will be redeveloped at a cost of more than Rs 19,000 crore. The stations will act as “city centres”, integrating both sides of a city, and will have modern passenger amenities, such as roof plazas, beautiful landscaping, inter-modal connectivity, improved modern facades, a play area for kids, kiosks and food courts.

The stations will be redeveloped as environment friendly and Divyang-friendly. The designs of these station buildings will be inspired by local culture, heritage and architecture.

Modi also laid the foundation stone, inaugurated and dedicated to the nation 1,500 road overbridges and underpasses.

One of those costing Rs 49 crore will be in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesperson said.

These road overbridges and underpasses are spread across 24 states and Union territories, and the total cost of these projects is around Rs 21,520 crore. These projects will reduce congestion, enhance safety and connectivity, improve capacity and efficiency of rail travel.

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