Plan panel gives thumbs up to High Speed Rail Authority
The Planning Commission appears to be in favour of setting up of a High Speed Rail Authority of India (HSRA) for running bullet trains possibly in the 12th Five Year Plan beginning April.
"Definitely, there has to be a different authority for that (implementing bullet train projects)," Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told PTI when asked whether there is need for separate HSRA.
Railways have identified six corridors for the running bullet trains at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour. It has also decided to constitute a separate authority for implementation of the project.
Railway has sought comments from the Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, Urban Development Ministry and Environment Ministry on its proposal to bring a bill to set up the authority.
Responding to the need for setting up of HSRA for the project, Ahluwalia said, "I think you cannot do high speed trains with the same system."
"The real question is, in what time horizon, we can do it," he said adding that it will be part of the 12th Plan which will terminate in March 2017.
The six such projects include Amritsar-Chandigarh-Delhi (450), Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna (991 km), Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad (650 km), Hyderabad-Vijaywada-Chennai (664km), Chennai-Bangalore-Ernakulam (649), Howrah-Haldia (135 km).
Railways has initiated pre-feasibility study of these routes.