Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took a dig at critics of the ambitious Bullet train project after inaugurating it in Ahmedabad along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Recalling how the critics used to mock him for believing in the idea of bringing Bullet train to India, while he served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi said, “Earlier they (critics) used to ask when (Bullet train will come), now they are asking why (this project)”.
The ambitious Bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will cost around Rs 1,00,000 crore. Critics have been questioning the rationale of taking up such a huge financial burden, while the money can be used improving the infrastructure of the railways and for other social sector schemes.
However, Modi said that effectively the cost of the project would be “free”. “If somebody tells you to take a loan and return it not in 10 or 20 but in 50 years, will you believe it. India has got such a friend (Japan) which has promised to provide Rs 88,000 crore loan at 0.1% interest,” Modi said.
He added, “A new economic system is developing on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. The entire area would convert into a single economic zone. This high-speed railway system will not only decrease journey time between two cities locate at 500 km distance but also bring the people close.”
The Bullet train project is an important milestone for Indian railways. At a time when Indians are traveling longer and more than ever before, there is a huge demand for a safe, fast, reliable and comfortable transport system.
The bullet train system is designed to be faster than a car, while also cheaper and more convenient than a plane. The Bullet trains can attain average operating speeds of around 250 km/h. The most important advantage of the bullet train system is that it would help bring settlements 500-600 km apart within two hours of each other. This will certainly stimulate trade and boost economic activities between satellite towns.