First of All, I read many comments on news sites regarding this Ahmedabad Mumbai Bullet Train Project. Many were questioning, Why in Gujarat? Is Modi a PM of Gujarat Only? The Answer to these comments is, This project was started to plan in 2009. It was ‘proposed under the CM of Gujarat, Narendra Modi’ and was discussed in Railway Budget. So, this should clear any doubts that it was allocated under present Government as a favor.
Next, after a lot of planning and debating, MOU was signed in 2013 with France but later it was re-signed with Japan even after many obstacles with the state government of Maharastra and Gujarat working out their different point of views. Finally, Japan PM Shinzo Abe and then Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh jointly announced the statement about co-financing this project.
In, 2014, The Engineers from Japan visited India and started this project planning which was approved by the present Government of Narendra Modi. It took nearly 8 years since it was first proposed, and 3 years since the project got the approval after which land allocation, planning began. And, in 2017 now the construction planning with begin.
So, no favors given by Narendra Modi to Gujarat but yes, many held up projects under previous government got clearances quickly – almost everywhere, not just in Gujarat.
Now, many are questioning a need of the Bullet Train, while the railway tracks and coaches need a major restructuring. I too agree! I don’t really see the need of it either. For the Amount of Rs. 1.1 Lakh Crore, railway can surely do a lot of improvements. And, plus there are already planes flying between Ahmedabad to Mumbai, and cost of their and the bullet train’s ticket price may not have a big gap. There are many are also saying, when people still not able to meet the basic need, why invest in this project? I totally agree with all the points.
There are still 30% of the population living below are around the poverty line, but has other 70% done any favors to them? Have they given up their chances of enjoying life? If we just want to concentrate on basic needs, shouldn’t we give up technology such as space missions, the internet etc? Why are we using touch screen phones, when more than half of the population can’t even afford a simple basic phone? And, why did we even allow domestic flights? The point is, every department has to move forward, just like every person in their field wants to improve and advance in it.
Most, important factor of this project is that the Japan is financing 81% of the total project cost ₹88,087 crore (US$14 billion), through a 50-year loan at an interest rate of 0.01% with a moratorium on repayments up to 15 years and the remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat – not the central government only, so do not think whole country is paying for it. The 20% of the components used on the corridor will be supplied by Japan, and rest will be manufactured in India.
So, People should appreciate what the Japan is offering to India. The Loan at the interest rate of 0.01%! Those who are dealing with accounts and banking can tell that this is no loan, this is just a free investment by a friendly country for a very very least profit to them. And, please don’t oppose with a reason that still 19% will have to be paid by our Government. For India, it’s a blessing. Who can refuse such an offer? Its construction will generate hundreds to thousands of jobs for labors and educated candidates. The loan amount will pay itself up in given time.
It will only help generate jobs and in long term a revenue. You got to move forward to the feature. And, If Japan wants to invest more to restructure in same terms for country’s rail network, what’s to refuse? Their Tech, Our Man Power.