Kerala will receive its first Vande Bharat Express train on April 25, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the semi-high-speed train on visit to God’s Own Country on April 24. The train will run between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod, although, it was initially decided that the Vande Bharat Express will operate between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur. Recently, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted and shared his happiness over the commencement of Vande Bharat Express in his home state, from where he was elected as an MP for the Lok Sabha.
The politician quoted the whole exercise as ‘Beyond Politics’ and showed his interest in joining the flagging-off ceremony of the train. Shashi Tharoor wrote, “Recalling my tweets of fourteen months ago suggesting #VandeBharat trains for Kerala. Delighted that @AshwiniVaishnaw has done just that. Looking forward to attending @narendramodi’s flagging off of the first train from Thiruvananthapuram on 25th. Progress must be beyond politics.”
Recalling my tweets of fourteen months ago suggesting #VandeBharat trains for Kerala. Delighted that @AshwiniVaishnaw has done just that. Looking forward to attending @narendramodi’s flagging off of the first train from Thiruvananthapuram on 25th. Progress must be beyond politics https://t.co/fAOO0qkXsd
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 19, 2023
He further said that “Bringing #VandeBharat trains to Kerala could address @vijayanpinarayi’s concern for speedy train travel to promote development, &alleviate
@INCKerala’s concerns about land acquisition& environmental impact. GOI&GOK shld discuss a win-win outcome in the interests of the state.”
Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express is also the India’s 15th Vande Bharat train and was recently extended till Kasaragod after demand from Congress led UDF. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday confirmed that the Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Vande Bharat Express, will cover Kasaragod as well. He said the decision was taken following a request from Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan.
“Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express has been extended to Kasaragod,” reported PTI quoting Vaishnaw. The minister also said the Railways is going to upgrade the tracks in Kerala in two phases. Under Phase I, Rs 381 crore has been sanctioned for converting the entire track from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram to a speed potential of 110 kmph. This will be done within one-and-a-half years,” he said.
“The second phase, which will involve straightening the turns and other necessary adjustments, will take two to three-and-a-half years to be completed, and after this, the speed potential of the track will be increased to 130 kmph,” he added.
The minister also said that while as of now only one Vande Bharat Express has been allotted to Kerala, many more will be introduced in the future.