Shiv Sena slams Modi's bullet train

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shaking hands in front of a Shinkansen train during their inspection of a bullet train manufacturing plant in Kobe Hyogo prefecture

Shiv Sena slams bullet train project even as PM Modi lays foundation stone

"It seems as if there is a competition among trains to get derailed", the Sena quipped in an editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana".

He was hopeful that the government will make provisions to make tickets for the bullet train affordable to general public, and added that it will prove beneficial to those, who can't afford flight tickets. "Even as Mumbai local trains suffer daily, a bullet train will be running between Ahmedabad and Mumbai".

The Congress party is anxious that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project could push it further behind in the race to win the coming Gujarat elections.

Questioning the economic viability of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, the Congress on Thursday said the foundation stone laying ceremony was timed ahead of the Gujarat elections, primarily to push projects just before the polls.

One Mumbaikar was of the opinion that bringing bullet trains when local trains and platforms are already in poor condition, was a wrong move and would increase the debts. Recalling past mega-projects, the Sena said first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation for many developmental projects and PSUs, ranging from the Bhakra-Nangal Dam to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and many other schemes that helped the country progress in technology and science.

He added that Rs 60,000 crore was being spent on land acquisition and the estimated Rs 1,10,000 crore cost of the project could further escalate by the time it was implemented.

"The demands for loan waiver of farmers were being made since many years".

Does India need bullet train?

The editorial further alleged, "Whoever is saying that the project will generate employment is lying".

The train is expected to cut the journey time from the current six hours to less than three hours.

It also sought to know if the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed train project really fits into the needs of the country.

Of the 508-km route and 12 stations of the bullet train, 120 km and four stations will fall in Maharashtra.

Taking a dig sarcastically, it said, "It is not entirely certain, as to which problem the bullet train is a solution for". The bottom line here is that the land and the fund will come from the Maharashtra and the Gujarat governments, while the profits will go to Japan.

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