New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind will undertake a train journey on Friday (June 25, 2021) to visit his birthplace in Uttar Pradesh. It would be after a gap of 15 years that an incumbent president will travel by train. A statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday revealed that this will be the first time President Kovind will visit his birthplace after becoming the president of the country.
The statement also added that the aim of his visit was to interact with his old acquaintances from school days and the early days of his social service.
Presidential saloon history:
Over the decades many Presidents, including Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr Rajendra Prasad, had undertaken train journeys. In fact, a special presidential saloon was built in 1956 for the purpose, however, due to the inability to run at a higher speed and obsolete technology its demand phased-out in 2008.
As per the reports, the presidential saloon was very frequently used under the leadership of the country’s first president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, who often took journeys. After taking the office, President Prasad visited his native village during his visit to the state.
Following Dr Rajendra Prasad’s efforts, President APJ Abdul Kalam also used the special luxury coaches, after they remained off the tracks for nearly three decades. He used the special luxury coaches in 2002, 2004 and 2006. President Kalam was among the first citizens who preferred the train overflights. The last journey was in 2006 when APJ Abdul Kalam boarded a special train from Delhi to Dehradun to attend the passing-out parade of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) cadets.
Special saloons for ministers:
Additionally, special coaches are also available for the ministers. Former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, is known to have undertaken the train journey over 370 times, between 2004 to 2009, during his tenure.
President Kovind’s journey plan:
President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a journey to his hometown in Kanpur Dehat from Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. "The train will make two stop-overs, at Jhinjhak and Rura of Kanpur Dehat, where the president will interact with his old acquaintances from his school days and from early days of his social service," the statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan said. On June 29, he will return to New Delhi on a special flight, the statement said.
During his visit to Kanpur Dehat, the President will visit his native village, Parunkh in Kanpur Dehat, where he will offer prayers at the village temple and then go to Ambedkar Park.
President Ram Nath Kovind's security will be four-tier. Besides 100 snipers and 80 special commandos, police forces and RPF and GRP of ten districts will be deployed for President’s security. The local officials have taken stock of the security preparedness in the region. In addition to the central railway station, circuit house, it has now been decided to set up a command centre at the airport.
(With agency inputs)