New Delhi: A day after the seaplane service was inaugurated by PM Modi, Indian Railways on Monday said that the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadiya will be connected by the railways network by the year-end. An announcement to this effect was made by Railway Board chairman VK Yadav on Monday. Also Read - Plastic-Free India: Soon, Eco-Friendly 'Kulhads' to Replace Plastic Tea Cups at All Indian Railway Stations

Giving further details, he said that the train services will take passengers up to 5 km from the tallest statue in the world. Also Read - IRCTC Latest News: 54 Non-suburban Passenger Trains to Run in West Bengal From Dec 2

At present, Vadodara, Bharuch and Ankleshwar stations provide rail connectivity to the iconic statue. The nearest airports to the Statue of Unity are Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport and Vadodara Airport. Also Read - Gujarat: 5 Patients Dead as Fire Breaks Out in ICU of COVID Hospital in Rajkot; PM Modi Expresses Pain

Elaborating further, Yadav said 100 per cent land has been acquired for the Kevadia Rail Link project. The project envisaged gauge conversion between the Dabhoi-Chandod 18 km route and a new line of 32 km between Chandod and Kevadia.

He said while track work between Dhaboi to Chandod has been completed, the line between Chandod and Kevadia is expected to be completed by November 15, 2020. The project will be commissioned by December 2020.

The foundation stone for the railway station which is being built at a cost of around Rs 20 crore and situated just 5 km from the statue was laid by President Ram Nath Kovind in December 2018.

Adding more details, he said that all three major and 16 minor bridges between Dabhoi-Chandod have been built. “Out of four major and 47 minor bridges between Chandod and Kevadia, work on one major bridge and 22 minor bridges has also been completed,” he said.

The Centre had in the 2017 budget announced the gauge conversion of the Indian Railways’ Dabhoi-Chanod rail line. This rail line is now being extended up to Kevadia.

Once the project is completed, one can reach the Statue of Unity from Vadodara in 45 minutes. The speed of the trains in this section will be 110 kmph in phase one and upgraded to 130 kmph later.

The 182-metre-tall monument has been built on an islet Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam. It is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US.

(With inputs from PTI)