Saturday, 7 October 2017
Does India need a bullet train?
Owning a HSR network has become a status symbol for nations. This project will only enable our flamboyant politicians to tell international audiences on overseas platforms that in India we too have 'bullet trains'. Nothing more and nothing less. But costs of this exuberance are Rs.110,000 crores in capital expenditure and another Rs. 20,000 crores recurring maintenance expenditure. The project cost will go up by about ₹40,000 crore. This project cost partnered with Japan is front loaded to the extent of 59% to 97% is another matter. This is a wasteful project which only serves to deliver an illusory feel-good perception among the wealthy. But in the process some unscrupulous fellows will rise from rags to riches. That is another story. This is not our priority! Modi is singularly responsible and accountable for this insane act of national wastage which otherwise would have gone into healthcare, education, welfare of lower classes of Indian people. There are 15 countries worldwide in the exclusive high-speed rail fraternity. All bullet train companies are incurring huge losses and are supported by governments. While intangible benefits of bullet train are imaginary and unquantifiable the losses burdening the economy are frightening.