Visakhapatnam: Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu flagged off the additional Vistadome Coaches with upgraded LHB Rake in Visakhapatnam-Kirandul-Visakhapatnam train at Visakhapatnam Railway Station here on Monday. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Naidu lauded Indian Railways for rising to the occasion during the pandemic and coming up with novel efforts to ‘keep the wheels running and customers protected’ from the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Giving the instances of COVID care isolation coaches, Shramik special trains, and ‘Oxygen Expresses’, he said the Indian Railways geared up its entire machinery and helped the country to effectively tackle the pandemic.
Recalling his close association with the Visakhapatnam city, the Vice President thanked the government and complimented the decision of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav for heeding his suggestion to the Ministry to expedite the use of Vistadome coaches in the route of Visakhapatnam-Araku.
The Vice President also complimented the Railways for the in-house development and production of PPEs, Coveralls, Hand Sanitizers and Masks, and ensuring the transport of medical equipment and general goods to cities and villages. ‘Due to this proactive stance, shortages of goods and food stocks have been largely minimized. Thus, the Railways have not only helped the nation to effectively tackle the pandemic but proved to be an essential lifeline in times of need’, he said.
Referring to the tourism potential of the route, which passes through a scenic, mountainous terrain of Eastern Ghats through many curves, tunnels and bridges, he said the 360-degree viewing system of the Vistadome coaches will make the journey an unforgettable experience for the passengers. He also commended the Railways for the introduction of a LHB coach to the train, which enhances comfort and safety of the passengers. Venkaiah Naidu also interacted with the passengers boarded in the Vistadome coaches of the inaugural train prior to its inauguration. He went to the coaches and took feedback on the facilities and amenities from the passengers.
Earlier, Ms Archana Joshi, General Manager, East Coast Railway welcomed the guests. She said that the upgraded LHB coach will provide better comfort and jerk free journey, enhance Safety with better ride experience and less noise. Apart from this, LHB Coaches are fire retardant, low maintenance, better design, low weight and higher passenger carrying capacity along with safer and comfortable journey, she added.
On the inaugural day, this train left Visakhapatnam up to Araku. The regular service of this train will commence from Visakhapatnam from November 23 and from Kirandul beginning on Nov. 24. The Vistadome service will be provided between Visakhapatnam and Araku from both the directions. AP Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha member MVV Satyanarayana and others attended the function. Divisional Railway Manager Anup Satpathy proposed a vote of thanks.
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