The ambitious Rs600billion Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project has finally been given the green signal.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who, along with six ministers, reviewed several gigantic infrastructure projects at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday, approved the idea of introducing the high-speed bullet train which will reduce the travel time between the two trading hubs to just four hours, benefiting thousands of Gujarati businessmen and workers. Initially, trains will run at the speed of 200km an hour but gradually, after significant improvements and upgradation of crucial signalling and telecommunication systems, the trains will run at speeds in excess of 350 km an hour.
A senior railway official here told Khaleej Times that safety measures would have to be taken into consideration before implementing the high-speed corridor because, he said, if trains exceeded speeds even in the range of 10km an hour, the scope of accidents could grow multi-fold.
Railway officials, indeed, believe that simply fencing tracks with concrete walls will not ensure complete safety, as often cattle cross the tracks, that at times leads to accidents and derailments. Last year, a delegation of experts from Japan visited Delhi and Mumbai for discussing high-speed corridors and inspected the route on the Mumbai-Delhi stretch.
The decision to accelerate the bullet train project comes against the backdrop of the report submitted by the Expert Group for Modernisation of Indian Railways, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, recently.