The Vande Bharat Express train will connect Puri to Howrah in West Bengal.
It will be the fastest train on the route, covering the 500km distance in about 6.5 hours, a South Eastern Railway official in Kolkata said.
Addressing the feature via video conferencing, Modi said that the new India is building its own technologies and reaching out to different corners of the country.
“The Vande Bharat Express will further strengthen the religious, cultural and spiritual bond between Howrah and Puri,” he said.
Fifteen Vande Bharat trains are currently operating in the country and are boosting both connectivity and economy, Modi said.
“There was a time when new technologies and facilities remained confined to Delhi or big cities. But now India has chosen a new path. This new India is producing technologies by itself and reaching them in different corners of the country,” he said, referring to the domestically developed high-speed train.
The prime minister said that as the country celebrates the “Amrit Kaal” of its independence, it is time to further strengthen its unity.
“The more India’s unity strengthens, the more its collective capacity will grow,” he said.
He also praised the state for continuing India’s development streak amid challenges.
“Even in the most difficult times, India has kept its development path intact. The reason for this was the participation of all states and the Indian spirit to move forward collectively,” he said.
More projects launched in Odisha
Modi also laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Puri and Cuttack railway stations.
He dedicated 100% electrification of the railway network in Odisha to the nation. This will reduce operating and maintenance costs and reduce reliance on imported crude oil, officials said.
He also inaugurated the doubling of the Sambalpur-Titlagarh railway line, a new broad gauge railway line between Angul and Sukinda, the third line connecting Manoharpur-Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Jamga and a new broad gauge line between Bichhupali and Jhartarbha.
These will cater to the increased traffic demand as a result of the rapid industrial development in the steel, power and mining sectors in Odisha and will also help ease the pressure on passenger traffic in these sections, the officials said.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan attended the program in Puri station.
A cultural program was also organized at Howrah station to mark the stop of the Vande Bharat Express, which will be the second in West Bengal.
Vande Bharat Express: regular operations from 20th May
The regular run of 22895/22896 Howrah-Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express will start from May 20, officials said.
The train, which will run six days a week except Thursdays, will depart Howrah at 6:10am and reach Puri at 12:35pm. In the return direction, it will depart Puri at 1.50pm and arrive in Howrah at 8.30pm, they said.
The train, with 16 carriages, will stop at Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Khurda Road.
(With inputs from PTI)