Indian railways seem to be in a big trouble in the recent time. Recently the backbone of railways, Mr. Suresh Prabhu has offered to resign from his post. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered to resign on Wednesday following back-to-back train derailments in the past four days. Suresh Prabhu posted on Twitter saying he takes full moral responsibility for the derailments and he has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard. “Met PM Narendra Modi. I am taking full moral responsibility. PM has asked me to wait,” wrote Prabhu on Twitter.
Now there’s another for Indian railways as Japan has started raising questions over the high speed rail project.
Lately this year it was in the news that Japan is going to fund India for a high speed rail project which turned out to be true as one of the biggest accomplishments for India. If rumours are to be believed, our country has been funded with a massive amount of around 30,000 crores by Japan! But now the tables have turned as Japan does not seem to be very happy about their investment in Modi government’s scheme.
On the request of anonymity, a source from High speed network Ltd., The company which was supposed to implement on the project, has told exclusively to NLC that the senior delegates are pressuring government for some improvements in the project. The source says that even the hiring process on the project has not been started yet. Looking at the pace of the project and the way there are no improvements in the scheme, we can easily assume that High speed trains are a far cry for our nation. Not less than 8-10 years our government will take to finally complete it. The question arises here is that why no body is even questioning the government about it? There are hundreds of issues which have dusted over this scheme such as demonetisation, then GST and then a lot more.
Modi government is actually doing a commendable job in propagating the schemes and dream projects in a manner which easily engages the public. The people of our country want development so bad that they believe whatever they are told without any practical knowledge or implementation on the plans. Now the Japanese government has raised an eyebrow towards the money they’ve invested.
Japan is keen to expand the highspeed rail network in India and the goal fits well with the Narendra Modi-led government’s stated agenda of revolutionising the time taken for train travel in India.
Japan, which has decades of expertise in developing and running highspeed rail networks, will be key to the government’s plan, according to people familiar with the subject. The agreement for the first link was signed in December last year during Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Delhi. Engineering design work for the link, which includes a number of tunnels and bridges, is expected to start in December and the network is expected to be ready by 2023-24. The government has said that tariffs on this route will be less than the airfare.
Japan is providing financial assistance for the project in the form of a loan of up to 81% of the cost at a nominal interest rate of 0.1% per annum. This loan has to be repaid in 50 years with a 15-year moratorium. The Indian Railways has identified at least five other corridors — Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai-Nagpur — for running 300 kmph or higher speed trains. Feasibility studies are being conducted for these routes. Besides Japan, China is also in the reckoning for developing highspeed rail networks in India.
But according to recent developments, it is going rounds in the news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train in September during the latter’s visit. The train will run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and achieve the speed of 350 km/hour.
The project is expected to be completed for the first ride in the next six years.
The train will reduce journey time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to two hours from seven at present. There are a total of 12 stations on the 508-km route – four of which are in Maharashtra and eight in Gujarat. The train will start underground from the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai and travel 27 kms through a tunnel in the sea before emerging over ground at Thane.
Lets wait and watch.