New Delhi, June 25 : President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday undertook a train journey to visit his native place in Kanpur.
According to Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar, President Kovind boarded the special Presidential train from the Safdarjung railway station in New Delhi along with with his wife to visit his native place in Paraunkh in Kanpur Dehat.
This is the first time that Kovind visited his birthplace after taking over his present assignment.
Kumar said the special Presidential train will make two stop-overs at Jhinjhak and Rura in Kanpur Dehat, where the President will interact with people known to him.
"On June 28, President Kovind will board the train at Kanpur Central railway station to reach Lucknow for a two-day visit to the state capital. On June 29, he will return to New Delhi," said the Northern Railway official.
Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, Chairman and CEO of Railway Board, Suneet Sharma, Northern Railway General Manager, Ashutosh Gangal, and other senior Railway Board and Northern Railway officials were present at the station on this occasion.
The Railway Board Chairman thanked President Kovind for using Indian Railways for his journey and expressed hope that post the pandemic, the vast railway network will help the country regain its economic glory.
Kumar said the service of the Presidential saloon, which was in use since Independence, was discontinued on the instructions of Kovind.
"This saved the exchequer crores of rupees annually that went into the making and maintenance of the saloon. Indian Railways has requested President Kovind to travel by the people's transport post Covid, as the country enters into resurgence and rebuilding mode," he added.
A special train service was run for President Kovind to travel from Delhi to his native village, said the Northern Railway official.
"This move will be a great morale booster for the Railway men who have diligently given their services throughout the difficult pandemic times. This will also help encourage and build confidence among the people to use trains to travel for business, tourism and other purposes to different parts of the country," Kumar added.
It is after 15 years that the India President is travelling in Indian Railways. Before Kovind, former President APJ Abdul Kalam had last undertaken a train journey.
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text