Will Bullet Train Succeed in India?

Maglev Train
Maglev Train

India is always behind the developed nations of the world by a few decades because the country of over 1.25 billion people is an underdeveloped economy that is facing a severe shortage of intellect.

Take the case of fast trains, for example. When the world is already in the process of introducing magnetic levitation (Maglev) transport technology for faster trains, India is stuck with the older bullet train concept mainly because the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who is an illiterate and naive man – likes to talk about bullet trains in his hollow speeches.

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Now, according to Congress party, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) says it would cost us Rs. 98,805 crore (about US$ 15 billion) to build such a train.

The opposition Congress party has stood up as a naysayer, challenging the government’s decision to spend the money on this adventure particularly when the existing railway network is in shambles.

Congress argues that each trip on this train will cost around Rs. 2,800 for ,say, going from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. In contrast, the air ticket for the same journey will cost just Rs. 1,704.

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The issue is: what are Modi government’s real priorities? According to Congress, government’s own estimates suggest that the cost of providing housing for all is going to be around Rs. 6 lakh crore. The choice then comes down to this: six bullet trains vs housing for all Indians.

Initial reports had suggested that the total cost of the project would be around Rs 65,000 crore, which is more than the total GDP of 11 Indian States and Union Territories, according to Congress. The revised estimates given by the JICA put the figure at Rs. 98,805 crore, as per media reports, says Congress.

Will Bullet Train Succeed in India?
Will Bullet Train Succeed in India?

Modi may want to look at the bullet train project as his legacy and want to do this project to showcase his ‘achievements’ when he goes to polls in 2019. But it seems unlikely that any tangible progress would have been made on the project till May 2019, warns Congress.

The figure of Rs. 98,805 crore needs to be seen in the context of what we can achieve as a nation with this money, Congress suggests. It also suggests that Modi should spend India’s money with greater wisdom.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

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Rakesh Raman