Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has defended the Centre’s decision to launch bullet train project in India, stating that it was part of the country’s developmental plans. He was replying to a query yesterday on Quora, a website where users ask questions and invite answers from the online community – “Does India actually need a bullet train”? Goyal, who has an active presence on social media, gave a 884-word defence of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR), popularly known as the ‘Bullet Train’. He also included several graphics with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to illustrate his point. “India is a rapidly developing economy with numerous developmental needs. A major component of India’s developmental plan is the upgradation of current rail networks as well as the development of new high speed rail corridors popularly known as bullet trains. “The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project is a visionary project by the NDA government which will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people, and help the Indian Railways become an international leader in scale, speed and skill,” Goyal said.
He said although introduction of a technology is often met with resistance but it eventually goes on to usher in change. “New technology has not always been adopted easily, and has at most times seen resistance. However, history shows us that new technology and advancements are highly beneficial for the country,” he said. The railway minister cited the example of the start of the Rajdhani Trains in 1968 which was opposed by many including the chairman of the railway board. “Such things keep India backward. But today, they are the trains that everyone wishes to travel in,” the minister said.
Giving another example, Goyal argued that many thought India was not ready for new technology like mobile phones, but today India is the second largest market for such phones in the world with almost every Indian owning a mobile phone set. “Similarly, the bullet train project will also help railways revolutionise every passenger’s journey,” he said. Goyal also gave a detailed report of how bullet train is a “low-cost project”, how it will promote Modi’s ‘Make in India’ doctrine, work with cutting edge Japanese technology and usher in economic growth by creating thousands of jobs.