Bullet Train? Not So Fast, Says India's 'Metro Man' Dr Sreedharan

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India is building a bullet train line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. (Representational Image)

Highlights

  1. Dr Sreedharan: Indian Rail needs to improve current infrastructure first
  2. Current facilities should be revamped before bringing in bullet trains
  3. India, Japan have finalised Rs. 98,000 crore bullet train project

Bullet Trains are not the need of the hour, instead Indian Railways should focus on improving existing facilities, former Delhi Metro Chief Dr E Sreedharan said today.

"This is not the right time for bullet train in the country but there was a need for improving existing facilities, speed, infrastructure and comforts of passengers," said Dr Sreedharan, also known as the 'Metro Man' for developing the New Delhi's widely-praised Metro network.

"May be after eight to 10 years, we may require bullet train," Dr Sreedharan, who has worked for about 36 years with Railways, said.

A Rs. 98,000-crore project to lay India's first bullet train network between the commercial nerve centre of Mumbai and Ahmedabad was finalised in December last year at annual summit talks between PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The bullet train between the two cities will cut travel time on the 505-kilometre route from eight hours to around three.

Hailing the agreement for the project, PM Modi had said, "No less historic is our decision to introduce High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through Japan's Shinkansen, known for its speed, reliability and safety."

Last month, officials said that in order to solve problems like acquiring vast tracts of land and building underpasses for people and cattle, the proposed rail line may run on an elevated corridor, which is likely to increase the project cost by about Rs. 10,000 crore.