Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mamata flags off Commonwealth Games Express

The excitement about the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, just almost three months away, gained more momentum today with Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee flagging off the Special Commonwealth Express, an exhibition train, from Safdarjung Railway station here.

Ms Banerjee was accompanied by Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa along with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for Communications and Technology, Sachin Pilot, On its inaugural run, the air-conditioned exhibition train with 11 coaches left for Amritsar, to reach there on June 25, to coincide with the arrival of the Queen's baton from Wagah at the Indo-Pak border.

Covering 48 stations all over the country, the train will terminate its journey on October 2, a day ahead of commencement of CWG, at the Safdarjung station and will be stationed there till the end of the Games for the general public to view.

Five coaches of the train are dedicated to sports and the Commonwealth Games and six coaches carry exhibits displaying the latest developments in information technology.

The sports coaches showcase the history of the CWG, along with the details of the venues where various events will be held, countries participating therein, details of sports along with equipment and information on the sporting icons of the country.

The coaches dedicated to IT narrate the story of IT and communication technology and how it touches our lives in a significant manner.

Ms Banerjee, taking pride in her department's effort in taking CWG to the people by means of this train listed the contribution of the Railways in the field of sports.

The Railways Minister said the Railways had allocated Rs 100 cr in its budget for CWG and added that she was proud her department was the leading partner in the Games.

It is to be noted that there are 129 Arjuna awardees, 16 Padama Shri, 5 Dhyanchand, 4 Dronacharya awardees from Railways. It also has the most prestigious individual awards in sports-3 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Puraskar awardees in the Railways family.

Interestingly, in the last CWG at Melbourne in 2006, Indian Railways sportspersons won 2 gold and six silver medals. Of the Indian Hockey team, 14 out of 16 members were from Indian Railways itself, which won the silver medal.

A message from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh read before the gathering said, "I am happy to know that the Indian Railways has decided to run an exhibition train on the forthcoming CWG at Delhi and India's progress in IT. This effort of the Railways will help in spreading the message of the Games across our diverse country, especially among the youth. I hope large numbers of our countrymen will get to see and benefit from the exhibition train in its long journey." Dr Singh complimented the Indian Railways 'on this unique initiative' and wished them all success.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit thanked Ms Banerjee for promoting CWG in this manner. "Foreign tourists will come for sure but this train will also attract people from round the country which will give Delhi immense pleasure," she said.

Sachin Pilot expressed happiness that while the train will promote CWG, it will also promote IT and appealed to the people to conduct themselves and welcome the guests with same courtesy and warmth which people of Delhi are known for.

No comments:


back to top