Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Kerala's first Vande Bharat Express between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod on Tuesday.
Apart from this, PM Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation various development projects worth more than Rs 3,200 crores at Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
He also dedicated the Kochi Water Metro and laid foundation stone of various rail projects and the Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram. PM Modi underlined that the Kochi Water Metro is a Made in India project and congratulated the Kochi Shipyard for the development of ports for the same. He stated that the Kochi Water Metro will make modern and cheap means of transport accessible for the people living in the nearing islets of Kochi while also providing intermodal connectivity between the bus terminal and the metro network.
The Prime Minister further added that it will benefit backwater tourism in the state apart from easing the traffic congestion in the city. He expressed confidence that the Kochi Water Metro will become a model for the other states in the country.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister referred to the projects and underlined that various projects related to the development and connectivity of Kerala have been unveiled today including the state's first Vande Bharat Express, Kochi's first Water Metro and several Railway developments.
Commenting on the education and awareness level of Kerala, the Prime Minister said that the hard work and politeness of the people of Kerala give them a unique identity.
"We are working with a service-oriented approach. The nation can progress at a faster rate only if Kerala progresses", the Prime Minister remarked.
Throwing light on the developments in railways carried out in Kerala in the last 9 years, the Prime Minister mentioned the work done with respect to gauge conversion, doubling, and electrification of railway tracks.
He mentioned that work for the redevelopment of three major railway stations in Kerala has been initiated today with a vision to make it a multimodal transport hub.
He also talked about the environmental benefits of the modern train. The Prime Minister informed that work has been initiated today to prepare the Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur section for semi-high speed trains. Upon completion, the Prime Minister continued, it will become possible to run semi-high-speed trains from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangaluru.
Apart from this, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram. Digital Science Park is envisaged as a key research facility to develop digital products and services by industry and business units in collaboration with academia.