First of all we don’t need bullet trains in India as of now, may be in future but not now.
I don’t understand why Indian government is so keen to bring bullet trains to India where the existing railway facility is miserably poor and where train derailment is so common that if one coach of a train like Rajdhani Express derails we breath with calm saying thank God ek hi boggie utri hai aur ek bhi aadmi nahi mara (Thank god! Just one boggie derailed and not a single person died).
Train derailment is so common here in India that everyday 1–2 news flashes this train at that place derailed, this much people died and injured. Sometimes 4–5 trains derailed in a single day as happened about a week ago.
I want to give one example here of newer IITs. When there was need to pump capital in existing 7 IITs of the country in order to achive their full potential, the erstwhile UPA government cleared the bill of 7 new IITs including IT-BHU and ISM Dhanbad. All the newer 8 IITs still suffering with lack of capital and investment. Having graduated from one of the new IITs, I’m the right person to say that these institutions are no better than an under funded private institution. As if this wasn’t enough the current BJP government opened 5 more new IITs in different states. My point here is that if the existing facilities is not at par and not achieving its intended potential, what is the need to announce new policy or project??
Moreover, railway facilities like drinking water, sanitation, safety and security, complex fare structures, delays in operation etc are so miserable that Indian Railways are nowadays synonymous to daudti maut (running death). Government needs to understand that spending public money on above issues is need of the hour and not on bullet trains.
A country where government policies are not judged by its implementation, results and outcome but its intention which often lead to poor draft policies, poor implementation and worst outcome, here I’m providing some arguments against the bullet train operation in India.
Firstly, bringing bullet trains in India is more sentimental than well thought policy, its outcome in long run, its feasibility and need of it in the first place. Government is taking the matter of bullet trains on its ego,
- That if Japan can have it, why can’t us
- That if China can have it, why can’t us
Indian government needs to understand that Japan is well developed economy and technologically more advanced than us, China’s bullet train technology is one of the best and cheap in the world and they’re also technically very advanced and they’re communist country so their policies can’t be questioned. Indian government needs to know that most developed democratic economy USA doesn’t have bullet trains.
Secondly, mark my word, bullet train is being played as a trump card for Gujarat Elections. It’s not bullet train it is a propaganda train. BJP is trying to woo voters of Gujarat in the name of development on the cost of public exchequer which is not at all viable in the longer run.
Thirdly, many issues including land acquisition, viability, cost to benefit ratio of the project is not being considered comprehensively which will backfire in future. Land acquisition is one of the main issues for any project in India, it will surely create hurdles and deprive farmers of their fertile land (farmers in Boisar MH already protested yesterday against the project).
Fourthly, cost of the project is too high 1.1 lack crore. A project worth 60K crores is palmed off to us for 1.1 lack crores that too with 0.1% interest over 50 years. In India the project costs USD33,000,000 oer kilometer which was recently completed in the China for just USD 18,000,000. Where is all the remaining money going?
Fifthly, viability of the project. I’m not sure if large number of people are going to pay huge amount of fare to save just 3 hours of time by using bullet trains. India where most of the people book train tickets in this order 2S-SL-3A-CC-EC-2A-1A of normal mail express trains, then 3A-2A-1A of Rajdhani and Gatiman express as per the affordability and not as per their comfort, I’m not convinced if they’ll book tickets of bullet trains which are equivalent to the fare of Airplanes.
Sixthly, why does this train have 12 stoppages and at places like Boisar and Bilimora with population of 36150 and 53817 respectively? Where even much slower Rajdhani and Shatabdi have no stoppage. What are they planning actually, a bullet train or a much faster version of Mumbai Local??
Seventh, The planned project between Ahmedabad to Mumbai will take 3–4 hours where at the same route Duranto express is taking about six hours currently. Now, who will pay price of plane fare just to save 2–3 hours with bullet train, I wouldn’t. So, why exactly is this humongous investment supposed to make sense in that case?
I can put forth many more arguments against the bullet train in India as of now but I think I’ve made my point clear with some of them.
Need of the hour is to invest more and more amounts of money in existing infrastructure of railways and make the heart of the country, The Indian Railways safe, reliable, secure, affordable and fast.