The frequent train mishaps off late has led to India’s rail accident casualties peaking in 2016-17 and consequently rail safety has assumed critical significance.
Despite this intensely worrying backdrop, India is going ahead with the Bullet Train project at a huge cost.
According to Railway estimates, local airlines will fly more passengers than its AC coaches by 2019-20 .
Pune365 decided to gauge the mood of the people in the city and get their opinion on the practicality of such an initiative, given this scenario..
Pooja Agarwal: I appreciate the effort of bringing the Bullet train to India, however, I feel the route could have been different. I have my reservations about how many people would travel between Mumbai- Ahmedabad everyday. Maybe joining our country’s capital to the financial capital would have been better. A Delhi- Mumbai train would have had better footfall as well as help speed up connect between these two cities.
Krishanu Chakravarty: In my opinion, India already has a lot to cope with and an addition like the bullet train may cause India to further drain resources. The railway tracks are damaged, the trains are never maintained well. As of now, the bullet train isn’t a necessity. Instead, India should focus on creating more of educational Infrastructure with smart and digital classroom facilities which would pave the way for the future generations to learn and handle technology better and make life easier. Also, some of us have the tendency of destroying luxuries that are offered to them like in the case of Tejas Express.
Shripad Patki: The Bullet train project is very much important for India. When many developed nations in the world avail this wonderful facility, why should India be deprived of this? I see no reason for the chaos over the estimated costs of the project. It’s a win-win deal for the nation.
While under UPA the loan acquired for the metro project was with 4% interest rate, the bullet train project is given loan at mere 0.1% and the recovery starts after 15 years; this is an achievement of the current government. Besides these figures, one cannot ignore the plethora of job opportunities that will be created with such a large project. And lastly, Japan is offering us a loan for this project. Personally, given the offer terms etc the green signal to the Bullet Train in India is a wise decision.
Kishan Sahu: As individuals, we have a tendency to oppose change. We praise when we see the technological advancements of other countries, yet we curse the poor infrastructure in our country. Some years ago, people ridiculed the Delhi metro and blamed the government of unnecessary investment of people’s hard earned money. Today, the same people praise metro and demand that a similar project should start in their cities as well. Similar things are happening with the bullet train project as well.
I do think that it will be a very successful project and will give a message to the world that our country is indeed progressing. It will be a step towards we, as a country, becoming world leaders!
Deepannita Ghosh: We cannot ignore that India is a vast country and the need to travel faster has become a necessity. According to me bullet trains are a great project but the cost for laying this railway line may look prohibitive in a country like ours. It is a huge economic gamble worth an effort. The first corridor is being planned between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
This sector witnesses busy passenger traffic through the year. Reduced travel time makes a compelling preposition for passenger. It also enhances Indo-Japan ties. According to me people will accept bullet trains in a better and matured way and not revisit the Tejas Express rampage again.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.