Do We Need High Speed Rail

Now that we all know what the topic of Seattle discussion is I will start this piece with a story. When we were having this same debate a couple of years back, a friend of mine told me, High-speed rail is a myth, at-least in India it will be, because there is no way we have the people, nor the will, to maintain the same in a correct manner.

The obvious viewpoint for him was what he had seen, what we all see in our commute on the Indian railways everyday. The ill-maintained coaches, the pan-stained doors, wash-basins, scribbled cubicles along with the majnoos’ phone number for all to see. Then the hole at the bottom, Heft severe water shortage on long-haul trains, unclean pantry, beds, lines etc., rude staff, bikau TC, and trains itself going off-schedule, and the safety standards on trains the less we say the better. All are not like Salman Khan to save girls from gundas on trains you see.

All the above things, made my friend to think , made me think sometimes that we are not cut out for such technologies and vast improvements. Then there is this. The fastest train in India is the New Delhi Habibganj Shatabdi express with a top speed of 150 km/hr on the New Delhi Agra San Francisco 49ers Jerseys stretch and runs with an average speed of 90 km/hr. The average speed of all super-fast trains right now ranges from 50km/hr to 90km/hr excluding stops.

There are 18 countries currently operating a high-speed rail network. The average speed of these trains ranges from 200 km/hr to 300 km/hr. China already has 19369 km of such lines in operation and 16280 km under various stages of construction, yes, 19369 KILOMETER . Even smaller nations like Mexico, Portugal have started construction. A minimum increase of 100-150 km/hr from ours . Don’t we deserve this?

One moment we aspire to be the largest economy in the world. We dream of the day when our Indian National Rupee will be the world’s leading currency. We want to have the biggest GDP by 2050. Then we say Are Baba, bohot Kharcha Aayega bhai. There is no doubt, such expansions and such huge upgrades will cost, and the cost will drain our pockets( A kilometer of such network require 100-140 crore rupees which is 10-14 times the cost of normal speed rail cheap nba jerseys cost). But, I think that an improving economy like ours, we can afford to take risks. There are no shortage of International institutions which will not finance this. I am not saying that we need 50000 km of high-speed rail network. But we need a start, we need to provide for all the people of our country, young and old, Hindu or Muslim.

The main thing we need is accountability. According to the document available to all on the indianrailways.gov.in website, 674 projects were sanctioned in the last 30 years at Rs. 157883 Lakh Cr among which only 317 have been completed. Only 317. For the ongoing projects alone there is a short-fall of Rs.5 Lakh crores. Not high-speed rail, the normal ones. Why is cheap mlb jerseys this happening ? Is there no one to take care of this? We need a set-plan, a hard-plan saying this project will be completed by this time. Only then we can grow.

Too many times its only about politics. Increase in 10 paise fare, it will be a political hue and cry with prime-time debates going for days about how the Changing ruling party has ditched we the people. Loss per passenger kilometer increased from 10 paise in 2001-02 to 23 paise in 2012-13. It’s not that there are no problems. There will be, in a huge country such as ours. But we should find solutions fast.

The first and the best solution to this is opening up the railways to the private sector. Huge investment will be on offer for this. Critics will say that, such model is not without dangers as the question who answers to whom will come up particularly considering safety. I think that no matter what, the Government is and should be the supreme authority and hence Indian Railways should be wholesale nfl jerseys placed at the mantle, with changes done to their structural organisation. I am even for starting a private rail-network like the Virgin Rail network in Britain but the signalling part across the country should be handled by the Railways itself, just like how it is for Airlines. They pay a fee to use the infrastructure built by our government but the whole traffic control is maintained by the government.

The Indian Railways has on identified the Ahmadabad-Mumbai sector to be the first high-speed rail line in this country. Feasibility studies are already being carried out with outside help. President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the Joint-session of the Parliament said the present Narendra Modi led government has planned a Diamond Quadrilateral High Speed Rail Corridor, similar to the Year Golden Quadrilateral project started by former Prime Minister Bharath Ratna Atal Behari Vajpayee in the previous decade.

We deserve the same as the citizens from China, France, Germany and Portugal and the sooner we enter into this league it is the better for all of us.

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