Bullet Train Project in India: 10 things you should know

Bullet Train Project in India: 10 things you should know”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe launched work on India's first bullet train at Gujarat's Ahmedabad on Thursday this morning.

Beijing also said it "stands ready" to take forward cooperation with India, with China already carrying out feasibility studies for two high-speed rail (HSR) or bullet-train projects in India, between Chennai and New Delhi and from New Delhi to Nagpur.

Bullet train critics say the funds would be far better spent to modernise India's slow and rickety state-controlled rail system, the world's fourth largest.

Pandit (Jawaharlal) Nehru laid the foundation of several projects, from Bhakra Nangal to Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, to ensure the country advances in technology and science. Officials connected with the project said local authorities will be consulted on station design, which will reflect the most important monument of a city.

In the initial days, around 1.6 crore people are expected to travel by the train annually, adding that by 2050, around 1.6 lakh commuters will be traveling by the high-speed train on a daily basis. Apart from point-to-point services, these operators come out with package tours that include sightseeing and accommodation.Among such private bullet trains are Thalys (the famous red train that connects Belgium and France, and also Netherlands and Germany), Eurostar (operates between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe) and Frecciarossa in Italy (serves all main Italian cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Naples). "Modi's dream is not of the common man but of the rich and industrialists", the Sena, which shares power with BJP both in Maharashtra and at the Centre, said. While Japan is providing the technology and funding for the project, India has to provide the human resources.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Modi government of "completely abdicating" its responsibility towards the safety of passengers.

"The UPA government had signed an agreement with Japan in 2013".

"It is a matter of deep concern that while the prime minister once again adopted a UPA (government) project, it took him three-and-a-half years to come to this stage of laying the foundation stone". 24 of the bullet will reportedly be imported from Japan. "At least 259 passengers have been killed and 973 injured in 29 major railway accidents since the Modi government took office", he added. The trains have never been in any accident since 1964, when they were introduced.

Private high speed trains do good business in countries of the European Union, and also in the UK.

The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) is scheduled for completion in December 2023, but commencement date has been sought to be advanced to August 2022. "They will be able to bring in their own rakes.They can design coach layouts as they like".

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