Saturday, January 16, 2021

Table of Contents for Infratrack




At long last there appears to some sign of movement on India’s rail track 

For Indian cities groaning under the weight of a growing population, inadequate infrastructure, traffic snarls and requirement of quick connectivity there is promise stemming from a high speed transport solution being activated by the government at long lost. The much bandied Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor finally appears to be well on track with the announcement by New Delhi that a feasibility study will be completed in 18 months.  The study for the Rs 63,000 crore project is to be carried out by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and will be completed by May 2015. The project’s business development model, owes its existence to SNCF, France.  The high speed bullet train is expected to reduce the 534 km journey between Mumbai and Ahmedabad via Thane to about 2 hours the train achieving a maximum speed of 320kmph. 


But there is also the downside:  The route has been planned via Thane keeping in mind the option of connecting Pune to Ahmedabad. The fear now is that Maharashtra could back out from the project since the major beneficiary would be Gujarat whose major towns will be linked by the high speed corridor and not so much Maharashtra whose other cities would fall out the development’s ambit. It is pointed out that this factor will lead to poor train ridership on the corridor.


It is illuminating that a nation touted among the leading economies of the world has no dedicated corridor for high speed trains close to 66 years after its independence.  


Admittedly while there is a question mark on when the ‘quick transit solution’ will finally be delivered on the ground, it is heartening to see some movement on the metro rail front. .  Maximum City Mumbai too, just bestowed with a monorail, is well on its way to see a metro line connection after a long delay. But the biggest plus comes from the government’s emphasis to extend the reach of metro rail systems to smaller urban agglomerations cutting a swathe of transport development across India.  On the immediate radar are 25 plus cities where project investments for the metros will touch Rs 200,000 crore; 750 km new networks are in the offing, 162 km of them will be underground.


Assuredly these will be busy times for manufacturers and solutions providers for the various metros like Bombardier, Alstom Transport, Gunnebo, Faively Transport Rail Technologies, Schlatbau, BEML, Hyundai Rotem, Herrennecht and others. The future certainly holds a lot of promise.  Post elections, it remains for the new government to ensure delivery of the promise.

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