Will Semi-Fast Vande Bharat Give ‘Hawaa Ki Raftar’ to BJP in Poll-bound Himachal? Onboard PM’s Gift to State

“Dekhna kaise hawaa ki raftaar se chalegi yeh prepare. Kaafi quick hai,” a traveller on the newly launched Una-Delhi Vande Bharat Categorical tells his seven-year-old daughter because the prepare readies to depart from Amb Andaura station in Himachal Pradesh’s Una district. The household of 5 boarded the prepare for Delhi to take the subsequent connecting prepare to Mathura (Vrindavan) later within the night time.

Simply minutes earlier than its doorways are set to get mechanically locked, the passengers are hurrying to get photos clicked with the brand new all-white prepare glistening within the vibrant daylight. Households are capturing the second they first boarded the brand new Vande Bharat, the prepare flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — his “multi-crore present” to the poll-bound state together with the mega Bulk Drug Park at Haroli and IIT in Una.

Anticipated to finally substitute India’s three-decade-old Shatabdi Categorical, the semi-fast prepare can speed up sooner to 100 km/hour in only 52 seconds, with a most velocity of 130 km/hour. Nonetheless, it could actually solely be operated at lower than 100 km/hour on Indian tracks due to the danger posed by stray animals, particularly Nilgais on this a part of the area.

Premium Journey

Although it has been nearly a month since its launch, the passion amongst travellers is but to put on down, with most first-time passengers boarding the semi-high velocity prepare with sensor-aided inner doorways. “We frequently must journey to Delhi from right here. This time, we thought we should go by this prepare. The seats are extra snug and it appears to be like a lot spacious and cleaner,” says Arun Dhiman, 62, from Jwaalamukhi, who was travelling together with his spouse to Delhi. “It’s additionally much less noisy in comparison with different trains,” he smiles.

The native residents are relieved because the state-of-the-art prepare has helped scale back visitors chaos on the nationwide freeway connecting Himachal to Punjab. “This time it [traffic] was much less. In any other case the autos would get caught from Nangal to Anandpur Sahib and would transfer solely post-midnight. Now extra folks choose to journey by trains,” says Jaswinder Singh, who had come to drop off a relative on the station.

The prepare has minimize down the time taken to journey the 450km distance between Una (Himachal) and Delhi to simply 5.2 hours in comparison with the opposite two trains — Himachal Categorical takes greater than 8-9 hours, and the extra fashionable Una Himachal-Jan Shatabdi Categorical takes nearly 7 hours. Solely the Jan Shatabdi and Vande Bharat halt at Chandigarh, which residents from Himachal usually go to to entry healthcare services at PGIMER.

Boon For Pilgrims

It has additionally eased the journey for pilgrims from Delhi and Chandigarh travelling to the hill state for paying obeisance on the temples of necessary Shakti Peethas — Chintpurni, Naina Devi, or Jwaala ji, and for these travelling to Delhi to additional go to Vrindavan.

With its remaining vacation spot at Una — the gateway to Himachal that shares its border with Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Kangra — the prepare can also be anticipated to strengthen non secular tourism in Himachal Pradesh. The prepare additionally halts at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, an necessary Sikh shrine the place Guru Gobind Singh based the Khalsa Panth.

“We hold travelling to Delhi so we regularly take the Himachal Categorical that runs at night time. This one is extra handy because of the timing. However the fares are barely increased. There isn’t any senior citizen quota too,” says Prakash Katoch, who was travelling to Delhi to fulfill his son. The locals within the area had been hoping for a further Jan Shatabdi whose fare is half of Vande Bharat.

In contrast to the Una Himachal-Jan Shatabdi Categorical plying on the identical route, which has simply 4 AC chair vehicles and eight second-class seating coaches, Vande Bharat is totally air-conditioned and runs with as many as 14 common chair-car coaches and two coaches reserved for government class.

Nonetheless, the key criticism is the fare- – which is greater than double than of different trains, with a seat costing about Rs 1,240, in comparison with round Rs 580 in a Jan Shatabdi for an AC chair automobile. A non-AC journey in Jan Shatabdi prices Rs 200 from Una to Delhi.

With as many as 924 normal seats, and 84 reserved for government class, the prepare first departs from New Delhi at 5.50am day by day besides Friday and reaches Amb at 11.05am. It returns from Amb at 1pm and reaches Delhi railway station by 6.25pm.

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