PM Modi Flags Off ‘Vande Bharat Express’ from Mluru to Madgaon an Hour Late
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Flags Off ‘Vande Bharat Express’ from Mangaluru Central Railway Station to Madgaon Railway Station an Hour Late, since he was held up in a road show in Ayodhya, UP. The scheduled time for flag-off was 11 am on Saturday, 30 December, however, the train was flagged off by PM via video conference at 12.15 pm.
Mangaluru: One thing for sure is that our politicians, and here in this instance, even our beloved Prime Minister strictly follow the Indian Standard Time, and it has become a routine procedure. In today’s instance of Vande Bharat Express flag off by PM Modi, instead of keeping the scheduled time of flag off at 11 am, PM, Modi made a scheduled Road Show in Ayodhya his priority, thereby making the guests wait at the five places of flag off in other states. The lucky passengers here were happy to board the Vande Bharat Express, free of cost, but were fumed for making them wait over an hour by PM Modi since he was busy enjoying his road show. Oh well!-as they say “Better Late Than Never”, the much-awaited VBE was flagged off at 12.15 pm by PM Modi from Ayodhya Dham Junction in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, instead of 11 am, as planned.
The train was flagged off along with five other VB express trains, including one from Coimbatore Junction in Tamil Nadu to Bengaluru Cantonment, and two Amrit Bharat trains, including one from Malda in West Bengal to SMVT-Bengaluru. All the eight coaches of the Vande Bharat Express to Madgaon were filled with passengers on the inaugural run. Most of the passengers were issued souvenir tickets. Passengers, who included several elected representatives and officials, boarded the train at 10.30 a.m. Soon thereafter, the doors of the coaches were closed, and passengers waited for the Prime Minister to flag off the train.
The flag-off was delayed because the Prime Minister held a road show in Ayodhya. Eventually, the Prime Minister flagged off all the trains around noon. C. Dinesan and S.H. Padwal were the loco pilots while Yogesh Bandekar and Girish Phayde were the Assistant Loco Pilots for the inaugural run of the VB Express from Mangaluru to Madgaon. All of them are from Konkan Railway Corporation. A good number of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists travelled in the train till Madgaon, including Mangaluru city MLAs D Vedavyasa Kamath and Y. Bharath Shetty, Dakshina Kannada Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel, and BJP MLC Pratap Simha Nayak.
Because of the delayed departure, some passengers deboarded at Mangaluru Central Railway Station. Several passengers travelled in the VB Express to Udupi. Prior to the flag-off by the PM, locally here there was an inaugural programme where the traditional lamp was lit by MP Kateel, MLA Vedavyas Kamath, and Congress leader Vinayaraj, among others.
Earlier, addressing the people who had gathered for the inaugural run, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “Starting tomorrow (Sunday) the VB Express will leave Mangaluru Central at 8.30 a.m. and reach Madgaon at 1.10 p.m. From Madgaon, another VB Express leaves for Mumbai at 2.40 p.m. A commuter who boards VB in the morning from Mangaluru can reach Mumbai in 10 hours.”
The MP has demanded another VB Express between Mangaluru and Kochi in Kerala. A VB Express between Mangaluru and Bengaluru is expected to be launched in April 2024 once electrification on the entire stretch is completed by March 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off 6 Vande Bharat trains, and 2 Amrit Bharat trains, and inaugurated the redeveloped Ayodhya Dham railway station on December 30. The trains that will serve the people of Karnataka are the Coimbatore Junction – Bengaluru Cantonment Vande Bharat Express, the Mangaluru Central – Madgaon Vande Bharat Express services operated by Southern Railway, and the new Amrit Bharat Express between Malda Town – SMVT Bengaluru that will run via Katpadi and Jolarpettai.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean one of the lucky passengers to get a souvenir-free ticket to travel on VB, social activist Hanumath Kamath said, ” I am overwhelmed to get this souvenir ticket, where I will be travelling from Mangaluru to Udupi, on C 2-80. The train looks comfy with all the basic facilities, and I wish they maintained the train. The new service would provide enhanced connectivity between Mangaluru and Madgaon-Goa, and it can facilitate easier travel for people from both regions. improved connectivity often leads to economic benefits, as it encourages trade and business activities between the connected regions. I am enjoying this ride and I am totally happy”.
Ms Shanthi Rao, her husband and two kids had also got the souvenir-free tickets, and we were excited to travel from Mangaluru to Madgaon, even though they had to wait inside the train from 11 am till the train was flagged off at 12.15 pm. The flagging-off ceremony began at 10 am on Platform No. 1 of Mangaluru Central railway station. A grand reception has been arranged for the inaugural run of the train at Udupi, Karwar, and Madgaon Junction railway stations.
As per the timetable confirmed by the Railways, train No. 20646 Mangaluru Central-Madgaon Vande Bharat Express starting 31 December will leave Mangaluru Central at 8.30 am to reach Madgaon at 1.15 pm. It will reach Udupi at (9.48 am/9.50 am) and Karwar (12.08 pm/ 12.10 pm). On the return journey, train No. 20645 Madgaon-Mangalore Central Vande Bharat Express will leave Madgaon at 6.10 pm to reach Mangaluru Central railway station at 10.45 pm. It will reach Udupi at 9.12 pm/9.14 pm and Karwar at 6.55 pm / 6.57 pm. Vande Bharat rake of eight coaches will not operate on Thursdays.