The minister yesterday defended the Centre’s decision to launch the bullet train project in India while responding to a query, “Does India actually need a bullet train?”, on Quora, a website where users ask questions and invite answers from the online community.
His exhaustive reply, replete with information about the project, data and graphics with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, got over 1.3 lakh views in less than 24 hours.
He opened the post with, “India is a rapidly developing economy with numerous developmental needs. A major component of India’s developmental plan is the upgradation of current rail networks as well as the development of new high speed rail corridors popularly known as bullet trains.”
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project is a visionary project by the NDA government which will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people, and help the Indian Railways become an international leader in scale, speed and skill, Mr Goyal added.
Even as the project got lukewarm response with some even suggesting that the government should first fix the existing network before dreaming of the bullet train, Mr Goyal said that introduction of a technology is often met with resistance but it eventually goes on to usher in change.
“New technology has not always been adopted easily, and has at most times seen resistance. However, history shows us that new technology and advancements are highly beneficial for the country,” he said.
The railway minister cited the example of the Rajdhani trains to illustrate his point. He said that in 1968, the idea was shot down by many including the chairman of the railway board, “but today, they are the trains that everyone wishes to travel in”.
Offering another example of cellphones, Mr Goyal said that many thought India was not ready for new calling technology, but today India is the second-largest market for such phones in the world.
“Similarly, the bullet train project will also help railways revolutionise every passenger’s journey,” he said.
Mr Goyal also gave a detailed report of how bullet train is a “low-cost project”, how it will promote PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision, work with cutting edge Japanese technology and usher in economic growth by creating thousands of jobs.