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Sabarmati Ashram has become pilgrimage for our freedom movement and Viksit Bharat: PM Modi

Planned with a budget of Rs 1,200 crore, the Gandhi Ashram Memorial Project aims to revitalise Mahatma Gandhi's teachings and philosophy for the present and future generations.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Ahmedabad Updated on: March 12, 2024 11:31 IST
PM Modi, Sabarmati Ashram project
Image Source : PTI PM Modi launches master plan for Sabarmati Ashram project in Gujarat's Ahmedabad.

PM Modi in Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (March 12) laid the foundation stone of various railway projects worth over Rs 85,000 crores in Ahmedabad. The Prime Minister also visited Sabarmati Ashram where he inaugurated Kochrab Ashram and launched Rs 1,200 crore the master plan of Gandhi Ashram Memorial. 

PM Modi address

After the launch of the Master plan of the Gandhi Ashram Memorial, at Mahatma Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister said that March 12, was the same day when Mahatma Gandhi changed the flow of the Independence struggle and the Dandi march was registered with golden letters.

PM Modi further said that the Sabarmati Ashram has become a pilgrimage for our freedom movement and Viksit Bharat.

He said, "This Sabarmati Ashram of Bapu has always been the centre of amazing energy. Whenever er receive the opportunity to come here, we can clearly feel Bapu's inspiration within us. The ideals of truth and non-violence, the resolve of devotion towards the country, the sense of service to God in the service of the poor and devoid - Sabarmati Ashram keeps these values of Bapu alive even to this day."

Slamming the earlier government, he said that had no mentality or political will to maintain historical places like Sabarmati Ashram, adding that the country which cannot cherish its heritage has a bleak future.

PM on why he discontinued separate railway budget

After the inauguration of railway projects, the Prime Minister said that his government discontinued the separate railway budget and included it in the Union budget so that govt money can be used for railway development. PM Modi said, "India is a young country, a large young population resides here. I would like to tell the youth that the today inaugurations that happened today are for your present. The foundation stone layings that happened today have come with the guarantee of your bright future. The governments that came after independence gave priority to political selfishness. Indian Railway is a major victim of that...The first that I did was to include the Railway into the Budget of the Government, due to that funds of the Government are now used for the development of the Railway."

"Reforms are being carried out for 'Viksit Bharat', and several projects are being inaugurated and their foundation stones are being laid out in every part of the country. It's been nearly 75 days of 2024. In these 75 days, we have inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 11 lakh crore," said PM Modi.

Development of railways is guarantee of Viksit Bharat: PM 

PM Modi said that he knew how bad the railways were earlier as he has started his life on railway tracks.

PM Modi said that the development of the railways is a guarantee of 'Viksit Bharat'. "We can take a look at anywhere in the world and we will find that the railways had played a key part in countries that became developed and economic powerhouse. Therefore, the development of the railways is a guarantee of 'Viksit Bharat'," he said.

He said that in the last 10 years, his government spent around six times more amount for development of railways than was done earlier.

Taking a dig at the Opposition, the Prime Minister said that, unlike some others, development work for us is not for winning elections but for the progress of the nation.

‘10 years work is just trailer': PM

The Prime Minister said, "This day is living proof of willpower. The youth of the country will decide what kind of country and Railway they want. Ye 10 saal ka kaam abhi toh trailer hai, mujhe toh aur aage jaana hai. ("This 10 years of work is still a trailer, I have more to achieve.")

PM inaugurates railway projects in Ahmedabad

In a major boost to the Railway infrastructure, connectivity and petrochemicals sector, the Prime Minister visited DFC’s Operation Control Centre in Ahmedabad to laid the foundation stone and dedicate a slew of railway and Petrochemicals projects worth over Rs 1,06,000 crores.

He laid the foundation stone of Railway Workshops, Loco Sheds, Pit lines/Coaching Depots, Phaltan – Baramati New line, Electric Traction System upgradation work and dedicated to the Nation two new sections of Dedicated Freight Corridor between New Khurja to Sahnewal (401 Rkm) section of Eastern DFC and New Makarpura to New Gholvad section (244 Rkm) of Western DFC, Western DFC’s Operation Control Center (OCC), Ahmedabad.

PM Modi flags off ten new Vande Bharat trains 

PM Modi also flagged off ten new Vande Bharat trains between Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam, Mysuru- Dr MGR Central (Chennai),  Patna- Lucknow, New Jalpaiguri-Patna, Puri-Visakhapatnam, Lucknow - Dehradun, Kalaburagi – Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal Bengaluru, Ranchi-Varanasi, Khajuraho- Delhi (Nizamuddin).

The Prime Minister also flagged off the extension of four Vande Bharat trains. Ahmedabad-Jamnagar Vande Bharat is being extended till Dwarka, Ajmer- Delhi Sarai Rohilla Vande Bharat is being extended till Chandigarh, Gorakhpur-Lucknow Vande Bharat is being extended till Prayagraj and Thiruvananthapuram- Kasargod Vande Bharat is being extended till Mangaluru; and two new passenger trains between Asansol and Hatia & Tirupati and Kollam stations.

He also flagged off freight trains on the Dedicated Freight Corridor from various locations - New Khurja Jn., Sahnewal, New Rewari, New Kishangarh, New Gholvad, and New Makarpura.

Prime Minister Modi dedicated to the Nation 50 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras at Railway Stations. These Jan Aushadi Kendras will offer affordable and quality generic medicines to the people.

PM Modi also dedicated 51  Gati Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminals to the Nation. These terminals will promote seamless movement of goods between different modes of transportation.

The Prime Minister dedicated to the Nation 1045 Rkm of Automatic Signaling in 80 sections. This upgrade will enhance safety and efficiency of train operations. Prime Minister will also dedicate to the Nation Digital Controlling of Railway stations at 2646 stations. This will improve operational efficiency and safety of the trains.

He dedicated 35 Rail Coach Restaurants to the nation.  The Rail coach restaurant aims to cater to the needs of passengers and the public apart from generating non-fare revenue for railways.

The Prime Minister dedicated more than 1500 One Station One Product Stalls to the nation spread across the country. These stalls will promote local products and generate income for local artisans and businesses.

PM Modi dedicated to the nation Solar Powered Stations/buildings at 975 locations. This initiative will contribute to India's renewable energy goals and reduce the railways' carbon footprint.

He also laid the foundation stone of the Petrochemicals complex of Petronet LNG including Ethane and Propane handling facilities worth over Rs. 20,600 crores at Dahej, Gujarat. Setting up of the Petrochemicals complex in the proximity to the existing LNG regasification terminal would result in significant savings in the capex and the opex cost of the project. 

Implementation of the project is likely to create an opportunity of direct and indirect employment to the tune of 50,000 persons during execution phase and an opportunity of employment of over 20,000 persons during its operational phase ushering in huge socio-economic benefits in the region.

Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for Ekta Malls in two states; Gujarat and Maharashtra worth around Rs. 400 crores.

Ekta malls celebrate and support the rich and diverse heritage of Indian handlooms, handicrafts, traditional products and ODOP products. Ekta malls are a symbol of the unity and diversity of India, as well as a catalyst for the development and empowerment of our traditional skills and sectors.

Various other projects like the dedication of newly electrified sections, doubling/multi-tracking of tracks, and developments of railways Goods sheds, Workshops, Loco Sheds, Pit lines/Coaching Depots, among others, was also done by the Prime Minister during the programme. These projects are a testament to the Government's dedication to building a modern and robust railway network. This investment will not only improve connectivity but also boost economic growth and create new employment opportunities.

 Master plan of Gandhi Ashram Memorial

Prime Minister inaugurated the redeveloped Kochrab Ashram. It was the first Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi after coming to India from South Africa in 1915. It is still preserved as a memorial and tourist space by Gujarat Vidyapeeth. The Prime Minister also launched the Rs 1,200 crore Gandhi Ashram Memorial masterplan at Sabarmati.

It has been the constant endeavour of the Prime Minister to uphold and cherish the ideals which Mahatma Gandhi stood for and also develop avenues which showcase his ideals and bring him closer to the people. In yet another effort in this endeavour, the Gandhi Ashram Memorial Project will help revitalise Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and philosophy for present and future generations. Under this masterplan, the existing five-acre area of the Ashram will be expanded to 55 acres. 36 existing buildings shall undergo restoration, out of which, 20 buildings including ‘Hriday Kunj’, which served as Gandhi's residence, will be conserved, 13 will undergo restoration, and 3 will be reproduced.

The masterplan includes new buildings to house administration facilities, visitor facilities like an orientation centre, interactive workshops on charkha spinning, handmade paper, cotton weaving and leatherwork and public utilities. The buildings will house interactive exhibits and activities to showcase aspects of Gandhiji’s life as well as the legacy of the Ashram.

The masterplan also envisages the creation of a library and archives building to preserve, protect and disseminate Gandhiji’s ideas. It will also create facilities for visiting scholars to use the Ashram’s library and archives. The project will also enable the creation of an interpretation centre that can guide visitors with different expectations and in multiple languages, making their experience culturally and intellectually more stimulating and enriching.

The Memorial will serve as an inspiration for future generations, fostering Gandhian thoughts and will enliven the essence of Gandhian values, through a process informed by principles of Trusteeship.

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