Government Considers Launching Bullet Trains In More Cities
The centre is conducting a study, to assess the feasibility of setting up additional bullet train networks in other parts of India, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi has told the Rajya Sabha. Depending on the success of the ongoing project, the centre may launch the bullet trains on routes such as Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Mumbai and other cities, the minister said. Construction is already on, to complete India’s first such network, though the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train project, spanning 508 kilometres. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
"High-speed rail projects are highly capital and technology-intensive. Therefore, the proposals for other sections, are subject to technical feasibility, economic viability and availability of funding," he added. In a written reply to the upper house, the minister said the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 1,08,000 crores by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL), a special purpose vehicle, with financial and technical assistance from Japan. The minister said that around Rs 3,226.8 crores had already been incurred, up to June 2019, on this project.
Angadi said the current project was viable, as an average 36,000 people would travel at the minimum fare of Rs 3,000. On land acquisition issues in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the minister said, "In Gujarat, 297 villages are coming on this line. More than 97% farmers in Gujarat have given their consent. Only in some patches of Maharashtra, there is some problem. Those farmers will also give consent. The project will be completed as early as possible," he said and added that as land acquisition was a state subject, the states were dealing with it.
To a query on steps taken to address the impact of this project on the ecology and especially mangroves, the minister said environmental safety had been ensured, while carrying out the project. "The bullet train project is being constructed on an elevated track. This will minimise its impact on the ecology and environment. In Mumbai, the project involves a tunnel of 21 kms, to ensure minimum impact on mangroves,” he added.
With inputs from Housing.com News