Does India need bullet trains? It is a massive investment in India’s unsafe, overcrowded and underfunded railways. Much of its equipment is out of date leading to frequent accidents and chronic delays.
This project covers soft loan of 88000 crores and project cost 1.1 lac crore. Initially, the high-speed train may run with the average speed of 250 km/hour with coverage of 500 km. in 2 to 3 hours. The feasibility study suggests base fare of Rs. 4.50 per km. Implies Delhi – Amritsar journey would cost around Rs. 2061 and Delhi-Chandigarh would be around Rs. 1161 & so on.
Sayings in favour-
- At least 40000 passengers will ride the bullet trains by 2022.
- The construction sector in India is expected to get a big boost not only in terms of works contracts but also with respect to new technology and work culture.
- It is an attractive low-cost long-term financing.-Indian Express
- The bullet trains will work better on small routes and better alternative to airlines will be offered.-Indian Railways
Sayings in disfavour-
- A white elephant in sight. – The Telegraph
- Bullet train is a wasteful project.– The Hindu
- It is “ Make In Japan “ for Modi’s bullet train. Indian companies would not have a major part to play in the bullet train project.– The Wire
- We are getting a bullet train without asking for it. – Shiv Sena
Overall, the introduction of the bullet train in India is like a second marriage where it becomes difficult to maintain both beloveds. Bullet train will come with financial loans. The project launched with national fund would have been a matter of pride. In times of surplus funds in our economy, we may think for it. But in the current scenario, it is just like transforming powerful speedy tyres in a bullock–cart.
It is not the appropriate time for poverty-stricken India to launch projects involving enormous expenditure and also not the immediate need of Indian Railways.