IS INDIA READY FOR BULLET TRAINS?

IS INDIA READY FOR BULLET TRAINS?

IS INDIA READY FOR BULLET TRAINS?

In a country where people vandalize more than embracing technology, do we have an eco system in place for high speed trains, and in an age where air travel is common, are they financially viable?

Imagine reaching Delhi to Kolkata in just 6 hours despite of 16 hours which it currently takes from the fastest train. From semi-high speed and bullet trains to high-tech innovations, the Railways look all set to redefine the way the majority of railways travel today.

While the country seemed excited when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced diamond quadrilateral of bullet trains connecting Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai in the project of smart city project.  There are reasons to be happy about this project and there are reasons which drive us crazy thinking bullet train as the major priority where a majority of population lives below poverty line.

High speed is the biggest reason behind the whole idea of bullet train.  Major cities connecting will lead to efficient economic growth rate by saving time and boosting business.  These trains would utilize high grade technology to provide comfortable journey of long hours within few hours. This factor has been missing in the Indian railways. It is also believed that this would decrease overcrowding as it will make smaller cities easier to travel to big cities without Huss. Not only these trains are stronger enough to carry higher weights but are also eco-friendly, it would lead to deforestation as it won’t require any extra land.

Despite of these benefits there are some cons which make it doubtful for bullet train successfully to land in India.

The estimated cost of the construction is Rs.100 crore a kilometer. After including costs of signals, barriers etc. the cost may hike up to Rs.115 crore per kilometer. It is estimated cost of one side travelling would be somewhere near Rs.5000 to compensate the maintenance of the service. Quite a few people will be able to enjoy this service while people who could actually afford this expense would prefer travelling by air.  In this case it may be concerning for the government.  The implementation of this project will take years and during the changed government it may go through consequences.

India is going through a lot of changes. During this situation it is important for the government to sum up the pros and cons of this project so that it does not result as a failure.

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