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Bullet trains in India: pros and cons

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While the country seemed excited when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a diamond quadrilateral of bullet trains to connect the four major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai in his venture called “Smart cities” project, critics have a lot to say. There are reasons to be happy about this project and there are reasons that drive us to ponder if this is the first priority of a nation with majority of its population below poverty line. Let us look at it from all point of views and generate our own opinion on this.

Pros of Bullet trains:

1. Speed: High speed is one of the biggest reasons for the proposal of this idea when it was first initiated in India. Major cities connecting with towns of economic growth face the problem of fast transportation. This would save time and boost businesses amongst the connected cities. Reduction in commuting time is greatly required in Mumbai and other metro cities where a lot of time is consumed in the process.

2. Comfort: These trains would utilize high grade technology to provide comfortable journey of long hours within just a few hours. Improvising on the comfort level of train journeys have been a missing factor in Indian railways and the introduction of bullet trains would be a great development in this factor.

3. Safety: Earlier there were questions raised on the safety issues of these high speed trains but the Shinkansen network of Japan shows excellent records of safety. Ever since the bullet trains started in 1964, the Shinkansen has reported zero fatalities.

4. Avoid overcrowding: Making commuting easier from small town to major cities would lessen the crowd of settlement and migration in major cities which would reduce pressure on growing urban areas. Chief Minister has rightly mentioned decongestion of Bangalore as one of the reasons for the bullet train.

5. Stronger and eco-friendly: Not only these High speed trains are stronger enough to carry heavier weight but are also eco-friendly as they do not require deforestations to set tracks. It is a modern and technologically advanced means of transportation which can be a step towards growth and development in India.

Cons of bullet trains:

1. Cost of construction: The cost of laying a bullet-train corridor is estimated to cost up to Rs 100 crore a kilometre. After summing up the costs of signals, rolling stock, etc, the cost can rise up to Rs 115 crore a km. Operation and maintenance costs would also be high.

2.High fares: Fares of these trains would be high too in order to compensate the expenses and maintenance. One way fare on Mumbai-Ahmadabad route is projected to be around Rs 5,000. Quite few Indians would be able to afford travelling with these expenses. And even those who would be willing to pay such a high price might prefer travelling planes instead. If this factor is not considered, then the project might prove to be a loss for the government.

3.Time consuming project: The project is at its initial level of planning and it is predicted that the implementation of the plan would take years. In between if there is a change in government, and then the project could face the consequences.

4. Land acquisition: For laying tracks, there would be issues of land acquisition which might trigger anger amongst commoners whose everyday living might come under menace. For instance laying these tracks in Mumbai would require acquisition of land which has the largest slums in the city.

5. Other issues: This project might have other issues under India’s present condition including plaguing of power sector, choice of speed and gauge, minimum length of the route for the viability of the project, etc. It is important to understand whether or not India is ready for this change.


Bullet train has sets of pros and cons under India’s present situations and they need to be properly handled so that it brings prosperity and development in the country and not debacles. Every factor must be considered wisely and safeguarding of people’s living should not be compromised. There are risks in this project but without risks nothing big can be acquired.

RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons
Deepa Kaushik 10-29-2014 04:03 AM
Bullet trains in India – the topic itself creates an anxiety and excitement for travelling. But is that really all that exciting taking to consideration the cost added with this project? It us definitely a plan to be thought of deeply. Yes, India definitely requires alternative mode for travel, but Indians always prefer a cost-effective mode.

Every new project would face some basic concerns viz space, infrastructure and cost added to it etc. But this bullet train project calls for a heavy cost input which would be none other than the money of taxpayers. Though it is not a wastage of money to create an alternative mode for travel, still we need to check if an average Induan citizen can afford this mode for travel all that often.

It is acceptable that people do travel in flights despite its heavy fare and many a times the ticket availability goes doubtful. But as we are looking to avoid overcrowding in major cities with this bullet train in action in much faster speed, it is doubtful whether this mode of transport could be used on a regular basis. The heavy construction charges would be levied in the form of train fare and added taxes to make the project a success. Reducing the fare would put the government in vain leading to loss.

The only people who could be happy with bullet trains are those from the affordable income class who avoid air travel due to phobias or medical reasons. These people can get a faster means of transport with less time consumption. Hence, to be orecise, bullet trains seem to be bigger bite than a mouthful for the current Indian lifestyle

RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons nisha pandey 10-30-2014 03:56 PM
India is developing and not rich country.Bullet train project is need huge amount of money and India is facing the problem of basic infrastructure like- education, road, electricity . basic infrastructure direct hit to FDI . so India should expand their money not on bullet train project

RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons mayank 11-4-2014 01:22 AM
well friends, according to me bullet trains in India is a good idea because it will help India to move in a growth place and improve infrastructure. but if we go to another side for this project we need a lot of money to invest in this project so i think government should not think about this project

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