Indian railway network is the world"s 3rd largest rail network covering 1, 15,000 km with a track over a route 67,312 km having 7112 stations. It carries more than 22 million passengers per day & 1.107 billion tons of freight per year.
1st rail was started in 1835 from Mumbai to Thane under supervision of "Lord Dalhousie" who is also known as "Father of Communication". In 1951 rail system was nationalized
Today, it covers 26 states and 2 union territories. It has international rail connection with Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is world"s largest commercial or utility employer by number of employees, with over 1.376 million. In today scenario, derailing, clashing of trains, manual problems, engine problems are very common which leads to accident of trains, taking away many lives. Currently, derailing of Indore-Patna Express is an example of it which takes away 140 lives & 200 injured.
The Mumbai- Ahemdabad high speed rail corridor is a proposal to connect city of Mumbai (Maharashtra) with city of Ahemdabad (Gujarat) through a high speed rail connecting with the help of bullet trains. It was signed under Memorandum of Understanding in September 2013 by India"s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japan"s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It was proposed to complete this project by 2023 by starting its construction in 2018. A 650 km long high-speed rail corridor was proposed to run from Pune railway station to Ahemdabad railway station via Mumbai with a speed of 350 km/hr. It was proposed to have 32 services between Mumbai and Ahembdabad. Our rail officials also proposed to extend the corridor up to Banglore. A 21km undersea tunnel has been planned between Thane and Virar.
The proposal is good in terms of development, economy and employment. It will generate extra revenue for our rail system. And a quick service to passengers will be provided by it. This project is beneficial in terms of globalization as 81% of the investment is promised by Japan itself. In terms of employment generation in India, it is a very god opportunity for the youth of India as unemployment is a serious threat, so we can deal with this problem up to very much percent through this project. This project is also beneficial in terms of infrastructure development in the country. In India overloading of passengers is main concern. To tackle it we need more public transport. Thus, in this context this project is a good initiation.
The cost to initiate this project is very high. As to construct track for bullet train we need 115 crore for 1 km only. So, this is a very costly idea in context of economy of India. Thus if infrastructure is highly expensive then the tickets will also not cheap. As in India, number of poor mass and middle class people is more. They can"t afford this much high coast travel expense. For elites group, domestic air service is also there at same cost.
Moreover, India is unable to maintain its basic train"s service and Indian railway are in loss, so there is no guarantee for the secure future of these bullet trains because of constant loss. One of the biggest problems is to find and constructing a route that will accommodate a vehicle traveling that quickly as it goes mostly through farm lands. To destroy that farmlands is not good in context of agriculture as 14.1% of GDP is coming from agriculture and more that 50% of poor mass still depends on agriculture.
Training of new employees is also a costly matter. Firstly our priority must be to tackle the problems of basic trains. There should be timely updation of engines, bridges and railway tracks. Currently we are getting average speed 112 kmph of basic train with 160kmph maximum speed. So first we should tackle it. There are two sides of a coin also. So, with initiation of new project, old basic trains should also get priority for their services. We should welcome this new project also with our crossing fingers.
- Vindhya Vasini