Bullet train will bring new technology to India, says Suresh Prabhu

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2016 18:56 IST
(Representative image) Railways minister Suresh Prabhu defended the bullet train project in the Lok Sabha. (Picture courtesy: Shutterstock)

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu defended the bullet train project in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and said it will usher in new technology and lead to enhanced railway safety.

Cooperation with Japan will help India get technological know-how as Japan runs the world’s safest train services, the minister told Lok Sabha members.

“The technology to be used for bullet trains will help improve services of normal trains and the integration of signalling system,” Prabhu said.

Prabhu said huge funds earmarked for the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in Gujarat was actually based on the financial support from Japan and will not create hurdles in the running of “normal express trains” in the country.

There is no conflict between the proposed launch of a bullet train and the normal functioning of the Indian Railways, the minister told parliamentarians.

“The bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is only a chhota sa hissa (small part) of the India-Japan cooperation on railways.”

He wondered if a “deliberate misinformation” campaign was going on in the country against the introduction of bullet trains.

The collaboration with the Japanese on railways has been strengthened after the present government came to power and the initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

The minister said since the Allahabad-Mughal Sarai route was the country’s most congested and it prevented the launch of high-speed train service between Delhi and Kolkata.

“We are trying to improve the situation. At present the route is being used more than its capacity,” he said.

During a debate on the demand of grants for railways in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Prabhu brushed aside criticism of the expensive bullet trains, saying the government had managed to secure a soft loan of Rs 1 lakh crore from Japan at 0.1% interest.

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