GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
cricketnext
»
2-min read

OPINION | Criticism Against the Bullet Train Project is a Tad Unfair

The bullet train will usher in a new era of safety and bring state of art technology home. It will bring India on a par with developed countries like China who have reaped immense benefits because of this high speed connectivity system that the bullet train offers.

Sneha Mordani | CNN-News18

Updated:September 15, 2017, 4:51 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
OPINION | Criticism Against the Bullet Train Project is a Tad Unfair
Representative image
Why should Prime Minister Modi focus on bullet trains when basic safety measures are not ensured in our transport system? Bullet trains won’t benefit a chunk of the country, especially those from the economically backward sections. Arguments along these lines formed a part of a very heated debate on the need for a bullet train.

Jibes, memes and jokes on the bullet train dominated discussions on social media. What is the feasibility of this project when trains are getting derailed, quipped BJP’s ally, the Shiv Sena. Clearly the country is a divided house on the issue.

But what is most amusing is the urge to constantly draw comparisons between the issue of dilapidated railways and need for a bullet train. Nowhere am I suggesting that Indian railways don’t need an overhaul.

Indian Railways make headlines for the wrong reasons. Always. One of the world’s largest transport system is not the safest mode of transport. Period. Basic problems of unmanned railway crossings, human errors that have led to accidents remain unaddressed.

The railways has failed to keep up with rising passenger traffic and freight demands. More than 40% of the tracks are used beyond 100% of their capacity. The Anil Kakodkar committee report on safety and Sam Pitroda committee report on modernisation have been kept in cold storage. Vacancies in key posts remain.

Political considerations dictate fare hikes and number of trains to be added on any given network. So is it even surprising that train accidents have killed 804 people in the last 4 years?

But can we stop these mishaps by keeping the bullet train project on the backburner? Dare I say that those who believe we can, have a fairly myopic view of development.

In fact, a bullet train will only take the vision of the country forward in building state-of-the-art system. A bullet train project will create a whopping 20,000 jobs. That is the estimate of a research note of the State Bank of India. India’s ally Japan is willing to fund over 80% of the project in the form of a friendly loan. The interest rate? A mere 0.1% over a 50 year repayment cycle. This project will not strain the public exchequer. Can we even ask for more?

The bullet train will usher in a new era of safety and bring state of art technology home. It will bring India on a par with developed countries like China who have reaped immense benefits because of this high speed connectivity system that the bullet train offers.

We only stand to benefit with the kind of technical knowhow this project will bring to India. It is time for the country to bite the bullet. Thankfully, it has.

(All Views are personal)
Read full article
Next Story
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV