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Old 17th September 2017, 12:26   #121
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by NPX View Post
I happen to live in a city which is on the proposed route of the bullet train. Also my parents live close to two thousand km away, so this train will provide me fast access to Mumbai or Ahmedabad airports so that I can attend any family emergencies. Right now it takes from 5 to 9 hours to reach airport, so at least for me and many others like me the bullet train is like a gift.
Very important point. All major citiy airports should be first connected to trains. This itself will reduce a lot of uncertainty in time for flyers.

Somewhere I read that the infrastructure needed for India in about 15 years is only 10 or 15% done ! It needs serious grounds up investment not the top line show off kind.

Govt plan is for $134 billion for improvement in railways and 20 billion just for safety. Is this really happening ?

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Old 17th September 2017, 12:56   #122
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post

On a side note, it is difficult to understand such pessimism in Tbhp. We (teambhpians) often crib about Govt policies restricting bigger engines and bigger cars, we loathe lack of road infra, lack of infra for electric cars...and what not. And when a modern technology and a new mode of transportation is being tried out in India, we are all pessimistic.

.
I am in the construction industry, though on the design side. My pessimism arises from experience. Whenever I see a compressed timeline for the execution of a project, especially an infrastructure project, I can imagine all the corners that will cut, all the hurdles that will pop-up.

It is going to be a good pilot project to assess feasibility for the rest of the country. I just hope the tech is ready to take future upgrades, say 20years down the line. I remember seeing a failed project in Panaji, of a suspended rail network. Nothing to embarrass you more than adopting tech that will be obsolete before the project is done.

My pessimism is not pointed at just the ruling party alone. The opposition will have a hand too, in creating the said hurdles.

Anyways, it is early days and maybe I can be more optimistic in the near future.

I am thrilled at the idea of the bullet trains in India. I am aware of the Chinese and Japanese bidding for it over the past couple of years. I can also see why the Japs go the opportunity(the political mood).

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Old 17th September 2017, 13:50   #123
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

Why do we not see that infrastructure has to be planned for future requirements? Is our per capita GDP standing still to claim that people will not be able to afford this?

Here is an interesting presentation I found made by someone TERI. It talks about market survey,energy efficiency and some projections of revenue.

http://iced.cag.gov.in/wp-content/up...TP%2003/SP.pdf

I honestly feel that this is a peanuts investment that needed to have happened 10 years ago. Any such large capital expenditure on heavy engineering and infra always pays back many fold.

Take for example making our own steam turbines now through BHEL (thermal power units from Russia and the Japanese being reverse engineered) to latest development of companies like Triveni etc who make and overhaul these turbines for GE and export them. We always need exposure to the best technologies.

There were plans to set up semi conductor fabs in India in the 90s, if people then weren't so short sighted and had the courage to invest, we could have been competitors to Taiwan and the ancillaries that it resulted in. HTC comes to mind.

Someone mentioned village led development previously, I think the letters between Vishveswaraya and the Mahatma make for interesting reading. A model that has failed repeatedly for the last 70 years can't be looked at positively anymore. I have attached a small excerpt, I came across these letters when I visited the MV museum at his birthplace just outside Bangalore.

Quote:
Wardha
23rd November, 1934

Dear Friend,

I thank you for your prompt reply. I see that we hold perhaps diametrically opposite views. My conviction based upon extensive experience of village life is that in lndia at any rate for generations to come we shall not be able to make much use of mechanical power for solving the problem of the ever growing poverty of the masses. We are too many and we have so many idle hours at our disposal that it would be suicidal to make use of mechanical power and allow human power to run to waste. The question of leisure after toil comes into being when people learn the art of making effective use of their waste hours. Such being my view the extract that you have sent me from Stalin has no appeal for me at all. The more expressive extract from Lenin makes matters worse for me.

It is like much cry and little wool. I could be no party to engaging the villagers in producing army machinery and army stores. If India has no desire to take part in the goary exploitation of un-mechanised regions of the earth, she has no need to fear aggression from foreign countries. My dream will remain wholly unrealised and India may become a willing or unwilling partner in the sin of exploitation. I want to put the whole of my force that God may vouchsafe to me in stemming the onrush of the violent current. I should take delight in perishing in the attempt. In spite of the strength of my conviction, I entertain great regard for your fine abilities and love of the country and that shall be unabated whether I have the good fortune to secure your co-operation or face your honest opposition.

Yours sincerely,

Sd/-
( M K. GANDHI )
Quote:
Sir M. Visvesvaraya,
K. C. I. E.,
46, F. Warden Road,
Bombay.

27th November 1934.

Dear Mahatmaji,

I am much obliged to you for your letter dated the 23rd November.

You say we hold perhaps diametrically opposite views. You are for developing village industries and I favour both heavy industries and village industries. To the extent that you propose to advance village Industries, I am at one with you I can never persuade myself to take up a hostile
attitude towards any constructive work, from any quarter, least of all towards work attempted by one with your brilliant historic achievements in public life.

You seem to assume that I want to prepare the country for exploiting somebody or other. That view is wholly unwarranted. I am in favour of heavy industries at least as strongly as of village industries, because :

(1) heavy industries will save the money that is going out of the country in large sums every year ;

(2) heavy industries are required to provide the local manufacture of machinery and equipment required by our Railways and for our Defence Forces ; and

(3) heavy industries are required also for supplying machinery and tools for the village Industries themselves.

You may be aware that in some years as much as Rs. 25 to 35 crores have been spent on imported machinery, locomotives, etc., for Railways and the Defence forces. I meant that this should be reduced or minimised, and to that extent money should be saved and woik found for our
own people This is merely to arrest impoverishment of the country. There is no exploitation in this.

I recommend more extended use of mechanical power because it produces results for the country much more rapidly than human power. The object is to get food and commodities required by our people for a decent standard of living as speedily as possible. The question of distribution
of products is no doubt one of some difficulty at present and that difficulty is facing the entire civilized world. If a journey of 100 miles has to be accomplished and there is choice before you of a bullock cart or a motor car you certainly would not choose a bullock cart Neither in America nor in Russia where two opposite types of industrial development are being practised is mechanical power undervalued to the
extent you proposed to do.

If India has to advance in material prosperity, it should be along lines which have succeeded elsewhere. It is only in regard to the methods that we differ; and may I add that the methods I advocate are suggested by experience and has today the approval of the civilized world? I have a lot to say but I have no wish to seem controversial. If you think heavy indusrries do not require encouragement, I will not refer to that aspect at all, I will not on that account oppose your other beneficent plans.

With assurances of high regard,

Yours sincerely,

Sd/-
(M. VISVESVARAYA )

Mahatma M. K. Gandhi,
Wardha.
Source: https://archive.org/stream/bharatara...67mbp_djvu.txt

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 18th September 2017 at 20:05. Reason: Removing unwanted spacing.
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Old 17th September 2017, 14:55   #124
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

Isn't it much cheaper to develop aviation than spend billions on bullet trains? Bullet train cost is only a small part of total expense. The real expense will be laying elevated high-speed track, then maintaining it and all the bridges, tunnels and viaducts along the way. In case of aviation , just maintain two airports at either end and you are good to go. By aviation here, I mean air taxis. The propeller planes. No bullet train can beat an aircraft in speed. Even a piston-engined plane. Judging by the costs involved, I'm sure bullet train ticket will be more than a plane ticket, thereby defeating the purpose. A pricier ticket will mean lots of empty seats in bullet train. Somehow, I'm skeptical. In my town, I saw the RTC introduce an AC bus in some route and withdraw it later owing to empty seats. People wait for non-AC buses to save money. Our purchasing power is not high. I lost count how many times RTC did this in my town in any given route.

I feel that small regional air taxis would serve better. It's lot cheaper to maintain two airports at either end than full length of track along the way. Is this why big countries like Russia, Canada, US, Australia do not have bullet trains?
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Old 17th September 2017, 19:54   #125
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

A country with this big transportation need should have bullet train for faster connectivity.
I have seen in China - there is a bullet train running between the cities Shanghai and Nanjing. The distance is about 300 km and it is covered in 1h 20 mins. People living in cities like Suzhou can travel in 30 min to Shanghai and Nanjing due to the train. Many travel almost every day. All this was possible due to the fast bullet train. I saw this way back in 2012 and there were several such cities connected. Getting the technology in India at least in 2022 is a good news and we should welcome with open minds.
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Old 17th September 2017, 20:38   #126
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

The negativity here surprises me.
Any modern infrastructure should be welcomed. This is already at least 10 years late for us. Look at the example of Delhi Metro. Today it carries almost 3 million people daily and has a network of approximately 250 Kms. When we started building it in late 90s, you could have argued that the money can be better spent on roads, trains, education, sanitation and so on. In a massive country like India, we have to work on several projects in tandem. We need India to become a more modern nation and any step in that direction is good news. In any case, all governments end up spending all their revenues on dubious projects. If there were to be no new infrastructure development, you can rest assured that the money would have been spent on some other less useful project.

Coming to the cost, at around 15 to 18 billion US$, it is peanuts for India. Yes, peanuts. The Rafale deal costs more than this as one example. India's annual budget expenditure (just for central government) is around 400 billion $. Here we are talking about paying 15 billion over 50 years. That is a payment of just 300 million $ per year. For an economy touching 3 trillion $, this is not even on the radar. In addition, India's GDP and budget would keep on growing. In a decade, the budget would at least double, making it easier to pay back any loan amount. India spends nearly 50 billion $ on defence every single year and that figure keeps growing rapidly. I would actually welcome a network of multiple lines to be developed in tandem. A cost of say 100 billion $ over 10 years is quite manageable for a large nation like India. The overall modernisation and technological advancement coupled with new jobs generated will more than make up for the cost.

Coming to people's concerns regarding cattle and so forth, most of the tracks will be elevated. Hence there will be no such issues. We need to look towards the future. This line will be ready in around 5 years. By then our GDP and incomes would have increased by around 50 to 100 % depending on how fast we can grow. We can't apply today's metrics and today's solutions to the future. Otherwise we wouldn't have computers, the internet, airports or expressways until everyone is rich and there is no poverty remaining.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:38   #127
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Isn't it much cheaper to develop aviation than spend billions on bullet trains? Bullet train cost is only a small part of total expense.
I feel that small regional air taxis would serve better. It's lot cheaper to maintain two airports at either end than full length of track along the way. Is this why big countries like Russia, Canada, US, Australia do not have bullet trains?
The world is moving away from fossil fuels towards more green alternatives. Hence in few years from now airtravel will be come more expensive and even the population more aware of the polution casued by airplanes will move towards trains.

The bullet train seems to be a great altenative to airplanes and airports. It will also be faster as you do not have to reach the station 3 hours in advance. Right now, the time taken by me to drop my sis at the airport and return to my home in Mumbai is same as the filght time taken by her to reach BLR.
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:01   #128
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Also just like to add it would be good if we can curb air travel. It creates no manufacturing capabilities what so ever in our country and we need to spend money out of the country for every little things of aircrafts. After the tech transfer we will have a lot of manufacturing will be here, even if not 100%.
There is some technology transfer and local manufacturing clause in the contract. And while it is a good thing that some technology and money remains in India as compared to none when we buy aircraft from foreign manufacturers, we cant really compare aviation with high speed rail in the Indian scenario. Ours is a country with high population and high population density. The proposed HSR corridor is through a very dense industrial corridor where you have lots of small and big cities and lots of industries around that area. It is impossible to cover all the intermediate stops of the proposed HSR route by airports.

Air travel is for point to point long distance travel. Rail travel connects all the in between points. HSR systems in Europe has shown that both can coexist and carve out their own niches. In Japan, the distances are not so big, so HSR makes even more sense. I think that for a country like India it is not a matter of should we go for HSR, but rather when we should go for HSR. IMO the sooner the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafia View Post
I am in the construction industry, though on the design side. My pessimism arises from experience. Whenever I see a compressed timeline for the execution of a project, especially an infrastructure project, I can imagine all the corners that will cut, all the hurdles that will pop-up.

It is going to be a good pilot project to assess feasibility for the rest of the country. I just hope the tech is ready to take future upgrades, say 20years down the line. I remember seeing a failed project in Panaji, of a suspended rail network. Nothing to embarrass you more than adopting tech that will be obsolete before the project is done.

My pessimism is not pointed at just the ruling party alone. The opposition will have a hand too, in creating the said hurdles.

Anyways, it is early days and maybe I can be more optimistic in the near future.
I think you need to look at the Delhi Metro's execution. The first two phases were done on a very tight timeline and were mostly executed on time. There were a few minor delays, of which one was due to land acquisition issues and another was due to an unfortunate accident. And they still managed to meet the commonwealth games service start deadline by cutting some corners that has not affected the safety or overall quality of the system.

If you have worked with Japanese contractors and Japanese companies, then you will know that they have superb processes that not only take into consideration all the issues we face here in India, but they also have solutions that most Indians seem to either ignore or choose to not implement. If Delhi Metro could achieve what it did with domestic talent, I am expecting that the addition of Japanese technology and supervision could make even more changes.

Maybe we will see a rub off effect in the construction industry and get closer to world class standards

We also need to consider one more thing, this project is happening because the Japanese government is giving loans at very favourable terms. They can do this because they have extra money lying around for which they dont have many investment opportunities. It is a win win for everyone, the Japanese get to boost their industry, make sure that India does not go to other suppliers of HSR and also get a better rate of return on capital than what they are getting currently. India gets a HSR system virtually for free plus Japanese tech transfer. We cant be using these funds to upgrade existing rail infrastructure or feed the poor. OTOH this project has the chance of making the Ahmedabad-Mumbai industrial corridor even more developed and generate tons of additional jobs because of the multiplier effect that infrastructure has in the economy. At some level doubting the bullet train project is akin to looking the gift horse in the mouth.

-- no1lives4ever

Last edited by no1lives4ever : 18th September 2017 at 10:06.
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:23   #129
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
why big countries like Russia, Canada, US, Australia do not have bullet trains?
All those countries are sparsely populated. Entire Australia population (2.43 crores) equals to the two cities that this Bullet train travels between. Mumbai has 1.8 crore and Ahmedabad has 0.55 crores population.

Bullet train will definitely not ideal for countries like Canada and Australia. Between, Russia has a bullet train between two of its major cities Moscow and St Petersberg started in 2009. Again both these cities have high population and not very far (700 KM).
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:40   #130
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

For some perspective, here is a 17 year old article on wastefulness of GOLDEN QUADRILATERAL project.

Roads to nowhere - The prime minister's dream highway project is a nightmare for taxpayers.
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/a.../1/243614.html

Quote:
When the surface transport minister unveiled the project last week he described it as a dream project of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was speaking not just of the Golden Quadrilateral, which sounds more like a speechwriter's idea of roads, but also of a 7,000-km corridor that will link India from north to south and east to west.

The Government is trying to put up a smokescreen since most Indians have never seen a modern road. So when an existing road is broadened or repaired, the average Indian will think of it as a new road without realising that the Government has merely poured good money after bad.

This is because we will soon have to build those expressways that we have so far avoided, ostensibly for lack of funds. And when we get down to building them we will realise that we have wasted Rs 24,000 crore on pretending to convert our decrepit highways into expressways.

If they were planning for the future, they would have picked the most heavily used route in the country and build an expressway along it rather than attempt anything as grandiose as linking every major Indian city with a network of roads that sounds good only when given a fancy name like the Golden Quadrilateral.

Last edited by smartcat : 18th September 2017 at 10:45.
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:45   #131
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

If the businesses can have inorganic growth why can't a country look at the inorganic growth options.

Bullet train for one should be able to provide us the much needed access to technology and the associated testing ground for its further expansion in India. Calcutta Metro was the first one in India, yet the technology was not global and thus further expansion in other cities didn't happen; flip it and see Delhi Metro which paved way for other cities to opt for Metro and in about two decades of operations, this has become successful transportation solution in many cities.

Grade separation, BRT and several other experiments have failed miserably in cities with higher vehicle density. Alternate & dedicated transportation solution are the way to go. We always look for reliable, convenient, and fast mobility solution to reduce stress on existing infrastructure and this will be one.

Lets hope this succeeds in India and we get possible replicated solutions for other cities / industrial hubs.

I am all in and in favour of having alternate and more reliable transportation solutions. This will be such a massive investment that discontinuing it will not be possible, instead Government will fine tune it for success.

Mind you tickets for Concorde flights were costly, yet it had better occupancy compared to Boeing 747 transatlantic connections !
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Old 18th September 2017, 12:23   #132
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

We need to also consider that HSR is a proven concept that has benefited many countries. At this point it is a 50 year old technology and there are countless studies to show how it has helped countries. India is a perfect example of a country where HSR makes huge sense. We have high population density, lots of towns with decent population that are not too far apart and a growing economy that can afford air travel. But all I see on this thread are people who are trying to find reasons why it is a bad idea.

This is something that seems to affect Indians whenever there is something new and shiny in the country. I remember in 1983 people saw the Maruti 800 and said it was a small car that they would never consider even getting inside, forget owning. Within next 5 years, almost all of them had a Maruti 800.

smartcat has posted a nice example of this phenomenon wrt the golden quadrilateral project. This should come up as a reality check for those of us who are looking at the negatives of having a HSR vs doing something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Isn't it much cheaper to develop aviation than spend billions on bullet trains? Bullet train cost is only a small part of total expense. The real expense will be laying elevated high-speed track, then maintaining it and all the bridges, tunnels and viaducts along the way. In case of aviation , just maintain two airports at either end and you are good to go. By aviation here, I mean air taxis. The propeller planes. No bullet train can beat an aircraft in speed. Even a piston-engined plane.
Japanese government is paying for the infrastructure. The terms of the loan is such that this is essentially free for our country. Also if you feel that bullet trains are slower than aviation, then consider the eurostar service between london and paris. Do some study and see how it works and why it is such a popular deal. Both the cities are aviation hubs with more than 1 airport and yet the train service is hugely popular.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Judging by the costs involved, I'm sure bullet train ticket will be more than a plane ticket, thereby defeating the purpose. A pricier ticket will mean lots of empty seats in bullet train. Somehow, I'm skeptical. In my town, I saw the RTC introduce an AC bus in some route and withdraw it later owing to empty seats. People wait for non-AC buses to save money. Our purchasing power is not high. I lost count how many times RTC did this in my town in any given route.
Have you driven on indian highways in recent past, or gone to the bus depot in a big city like bangalore, pune or delhi? Volvo buses are highly popular and I see them all over the highways. There is a very popular service between mumbai and pune which runs lots of services and does not go empty. What you are reporting does not seem to apply in most of the country.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
I feel that small regional air taxis would serve better. It's lot cheaper to maintain two airports at either end than full length of track along the way.
Do you think that it will make sense to fly between mumbai and vapi or mumbai and surat? What about between surat and vapi or between vadodra and surat. Or even between vadodra and ahmedabad. The HSR is not just about point to point travel but also travel between stations. Do we have flights between these city pairs every 1 hour or more often?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Is this why big countries like Russia, Canada, US, Australia do not have bullet trains?
The US has been evaluating high speed rail for various corridors over the years. Till recently they had a focus on air travel + cars for the last mile. But sooner or later there will be one or more HSR corridors in the US. Russia, Canada and Australia are very sparsely populated and big countries. Here taking a flight makes more sense because there are long distances and zero or very few in between stops that makes a HSR viable. Look at China, France, Germany, Spain. They are not too small and they have all gone for HSR. These countries dont have HSR because they countries have money lying around for fancy projects. The mumbai to ahmedabad route is actually comparable to the population density and industrial potential of these places.

-- no1lives4ever

Last edited by no1lives4ever : 18th September 2017 at 12:37.
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Old 18th September 2017, 13:51   #133
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Everything looks good. On Paper.

The deadline of 2022 is looking a bit too optimistic, laying 200+KM of HSR track, in a country like India in no easy task.
I think they will push for it to coincide with India's 75th Independence anniversary and with the Japanese anything is possible.
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Old 18th September 2017, 15:23   #134
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

China has connected 70% of its cities totaling 22,000 kms with HSR network.Beijing–Shenzhen is the Longest HSR in the World covering 2,203 kms in 8 hours.

Imagine travelling from Bangalore to Delhi in 8 hours and pay just 50% of the airfare.I would love to do that.

Waseem.
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:47   #135
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Default Re: Bullet Train in India - What it means for the country?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
For some perspective, here is a 17 year old article on wastefulness of GOLDEN QUADRILATERAL project.

Roads to nowhere - The prime minister's dream highway project is a nightmare for taxpayers.
Thanks for pulling that article up. That illustrates how every big project is rejected, stating this money could be better used for feeding poor (and enable them to stay poor).
On the other hand, visionaries ignore such cries and step forward towards their goal to make the country a better place to live.
Several years later, now we have the 4-laned highways connecting length and breadth of the country. Instead, if we had used up the money to subsidize something else, our infrastructure would be in much worse state.

In the initial years, the metro rail projects were frowned upon, and was seen to silently increase transportation cost, and seen as messing up the roads and catering only to upper middle class & the rich. After we have successfully running metros in a few cities, now there are voices asking for metros in almost every town. And I sincerely believe that, there should be some action to study and bring it to each Indian city, so there will be some help in reducing congestion.

At some point of time, when we completely move towards the EVs, we might completely do away with the current concept of 100-150cc bikes and use low speed electric bikes and Metros/buses as the primary mode of transport apart from cars. To reduce congestion further, we may even have laws, such as the ones in Singapore, making ownership of a car pretty expensive affair.
All this law enforcement requires, faster & efficient public transport as pre-requisite.

So, investments in metro rails, mono rails, BRTs, broader roads with several lanes, expressways, bullet trains, maglevs and any initiative to move people in an efficient way should be supported. It is true that, instead of x, government can do y or z. Everyone has an opinion of what can be done with money, but this investment in bullet trains tries to make our infrastructure better, and it is a long term plan.

Let us keep the negative articles from Op-Ed pages archived, so we can discuss and laugh about them after the Bullet train starts carrying people!
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