Improving connectivity between pilgrim centres and helping local economies are at the centre of the government's push for Vande Bharat Express trains, sources said on Friday.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to flag off the semi high-speed modern train between Secunderabad and Tirupati on Saturday, four of the 13 operational Vande Bharat Express routes will connect some of India's most revered pilgrimage sites, the government sources said.
The three other routes are New Delhi-Varanasi, New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai)-Shirdi.
Noting that Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stone for the construction of road projects of National Highway-744, they said this will ensure a smooth journey for pilgrims visiting some of the most sacred sites in southern India such as Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Andal Temple in Srivilliputhur and Sabarimala in Kerala The improved connectivity benefits pilgrims and helps local economies by boosting trade, creating jobs and promoting the growth of ancillary industries like hospitality, handicrafts, and food services, they said.
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