Transportation infrastructure rather engineering came a full circle with the advent of the famous bullet-train. Japan has it, for the longest time. France has one. The United States, at least as of now, doesn’t seem to be in too desperate a need of one. But India- when’s the bullet train hitting the land of Narendra Modi- everyone’s been asking for the longest time.
And even now, in a country that is no stranger to new technological highs, a bustling entrepreneurial culture, a growing GDP- with the country being dubbed as among the strongest economy of Asia- the question still remains, rather lingers on.
By when can India expect its own bullet-train?
Well, finally now, after much speculation and anticipation there seems to be an answer. In fact, it’s rather less than gratifying, truth be told. Everyone knows the ambitious Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious bullet-train project that’s slated to see the one of its own kind project eschew boundaries between Ahmedabad-to-Mumbai with sheer speed.
And as we all know, the project completion date was kept at a realistic 2022 in the month of August. Where the fate of India’s bullet-train future rests, it hardly makes little sense to discard the ambition as a 2022-plan.
Isn’t it. Well, here comes the spoiler- probably few knew about. It appears that the speed at which the Ahmedabad-to-Mumbai project is functioning is rather slow and appears to have some chinks in the armour where deadlines are concerned.
The mega-transportation project, that’s slated to change the fate of the country already renowned for having amongst the widest (or densest) railway networks costs a whopping $17 billion. Therefore, in this regard, any forthcoming delays may just increase the project cost which won’t be a great news for those involved.
This is a one of a kind ambitious Japan-backed project and it’s been the dream of the country, much before Prime Minister put it into words to possess a bullet train for the country. And India minus a bullet train may actually- for all intents and purposes- sound like a fairytale without a fairy itself. In fact, in another sense,
A country massively overpopulating with billions of legs moving all over, actually, it’s about time that India got the long-awaited bullet train.
The latest report published in the widely-read The Economic Times carries new details about the project that’s supposedly stuck in a time-warped limbo:
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is acquiring around 1,400 hectares of linear land at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore in 195 villages in Gujarat and in 104 in Maharashtra and a small area in Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
It has faced stiff resistance from farmers and tribals, especially in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. Whether this anomaly in the regular working system gets sorted soon, is anyone’s call. But here’s the most alarming thing, from a common man’s perspective.
As with any new-age, excessively tech-reliant, modernistic project that emphasises on new construction and development, there’s the ailing issue of the common man whose home stands in the way of the construction. And in this case, it’s the commoners who are residents in Maharashtra’s Palghar who have extended their opposition to the bullet train project. Where it stands at present, hundreds and thousands of homes of those, hailing from financially-ailing backgrounds stand in the way of the bullet train dream of India.
Perhaps, it’s a hard call, but eventually, a pertinent one that the nation will have to take. Isn’t it?
And that’s not all.
The Gujarat High Court is currently facing the wrath of the futuristic impending project.
There seems to be hardly any dearth of legal drama in the mighty bullet train of India.
According to reports published in the Economic Times, as many as five petitions have been filed in the Gujarat High Court — either challenging a 2013 Gujarat amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, demanding the preliminary notification be quashed, or refusing to part with fertile land. The Godrej group has filed a petition In Bombay High Court challenging acquisition of its 3.5 hectares in Vikhroli. It has offered another piece of land close by.
Does the above mean indefinite delays? What is the other alternate plan of action? In this case, it ought to be said, the nation wants to know.