The Shiv Sena today questioned the feasibility of the bullet train project at a time when there is a “marathon among trains to get derailed” and called for learning the formula of safe and clean travel from Japan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe yesterday launched India’s first bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, which would cover the distance of over 500 km in less than three hours. However, the Sena expressed apprehensions over the viability of such a project at a time when the country has witnessed a number of rail accidents in the recent past. “Nobody has any doubt that this is the most shameful period of negligence on the part of Indian Railways. Nowadays, hardly any day passes without a train getting derailed. It seems as if there is a competition among trains to get derailed,” the Sena quipped in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “Even the railway’s most famous train Rajdhani Express hasn’t been left behind. It derailed near the national capital. Isn’t it serious that a train derails on the most secured rail section of the country?” asked Sena, which is the ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Japan is running bullet trains since 1964 at a speed of 500-600 kms per hour. The speed is not important but what has to be seen is that there has never been any rail accident at such high speeds, it said. “It is important to know that a bullet train in Japan is cleaned within 7 minutes and even a minute of delay throughout the train journey comes under scrutiny. Compared to Japan, trains crawl here and despite a marathon among trains to get derailed, no accountability is fixed,” it said. “Why can we not learn from Japan the art of ensuring 100 per cent security in rail travel? Can we not learn their formula of a safe and clean travel? The nation would have been happier if India would have learnt from Japan the technique of safe rail travel,” the Sena said.
The passengers would have felt a lot more secure had the government learnt lessons from Japan in running the railways, it further said. The Sena had yesterday slammed the bullet train project, saying it was not a dream of the common man but that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also sought to know if the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed train project really fits into the needs of the country. Notably, a coach of Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed yesterday at the New Delhi Railway station in the national capital, but no one was injured in the mishap.
On September 7, seven coaches of the Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express derailed in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. On the same day, the engine and power car of the Ranchi-Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed near Minto Bridge in Delhi, injuring a person. Also, two wagons of a goods train derailed at Khandala in Maharashtra on the same day. Prior to it, nearly 100 passengers were wounded when 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express train derailed after crashing into a dumper which strayed on to the tracks in UP’s Auraiya district on August 23. Besides, the Utkal Express derailed in UP’s Muzaffarnagar district, killing 22 people and injuring 156, on August 19.