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Udantashtari, Chetak: Contest to name bullet train sees 22K entries

The agency has directed suggestions received via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to the platform before it is expected to finalise a name for the train by the first week of July.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2019 07:20 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chetak,Udantashtari,bullet train
The agency has directed suggestions received via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to the platform before it is expected to finalise a name for the train by the first week of July. (Representative image)

Udantashtari, Mahatma, Bullet Bharat, Vidyut, Ashwamedha, Pawan Putra, Chetak, and Vayu Putra —these are among the names suggested by social media users for India’s first bullet train.

The suggestions were received after National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is executing the project, invited the public to suggest names for the train through the citizen engagement platform – mygov.in – in February.

The agency has directed suggestions received via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to the platform before it is expected to finalise a name for the train by the first week of July.

Citizens also had a chance to design a mascot for the train through the platform, which is aimed at encouraging the participation of citizens in governance. March 25 was the last date for the submission of the suggestions.

“NHSRCL invited entries for a name for India’s first bullet train and designing its mascot through mygov.in. In a month-long contest from February to March 2019, about 22,000 entries were received which include about 4,400 entries for the mascot,’’ said NHSRCL spokesperson Sushma Gaur.

“To keep the selection process impartial and transparent, a reputed government institute has been engaged to shortlist the entries based on the defined criteria. The selected entries will be declared in a couple of months.”

Another NHSRCL official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suggestions received on the site cannot be revealed until they finalise the winners since they are doing it through mygov.in. “The organisation [mygov.in] will apply certain filters and give us five entries in each category. A committee of NHSRCL will select a winner from those five shortlisted names...”

Other suggested names include Pulwama Shaheed Express in memory of 40 paramilitary troopers killed in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

The suggestions, including those based on names of political leaders, would not be accepted, officials said.

The winner in the name suggestion category will receive a Rs 50,000 cash prize along with a certificate. The best mascot suggestion would fetch an award of Rs 1 lakh. Five consolation prizes of Rs 10,000 in each category will be given to those whose entries will be deemed as good as the winning entry.

The 500-km-long high-speed bullet train project was inaugurated in September 2017. It would link Ahmedabad and Mumbai and cut the time needed to travel between the two cities by more than half to under three hours.

The government has set a deadline of August 15, 2022 — India’s 75th independence day — for the inauguration of the train.

First Published: Jun 03, 2019 07:20 IST