Protests & Delays Haunt Modi Government’s Bullet Train Project

The Logical Indian Crew India

October 29th, 2018 / 6:30 PM

Bullet Train India

Image Credits: Financial Express

India’s highly ambitious bullet train project is extremely unlikely to be finished and launched by the stipulated year of completion, 2022. Railway officials are trying hard to at least open a section if not the entire 508-km stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is in charge of the project has been facing a crisis of funds as well as land acquisition issues over the last few months. The project is facing stiff opposition and protests from farmers that are discouraging the farmland to be acquired.

The Wire reported that the Indian Railways after taking a note of the implementation challenges as well as delays is working to ensure that a stretch between Surat and Bilmora will be operational by 2022. Last year, when the deal was launched between India and Japan, the target for completion of the given stretch was set at 2023. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed his faith in the railways and the engineering sector to advance the launch date to a year earlier. Reportedly, work is going on round the clock to meet the entire target. 

Might face a cash crunch

Reportedly, the pilot project has an estimated cost of Rs 1,06,000 crore which will be majorly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). About 20% costs will be borne by the Ministry of Railways and the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Out of the Rs 86000 crore that JICA has to pay under the project, Rs.5500 crores have been disbursed to India. Meanwhile, the Railways and the state governments have not contributed any money so far.

A limited international tender will soon be floated by the Indian Railways which is worth Rs 8,000 crore next month for the procurement of 24 bullet trains for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. As per the agreement with Japan, only Japanese companies will be allowed to participate in the tender. Among others, two leading Japanese manufacturers – Kawasaki and Hitachi – are expected to join the race for India’s first bullet train project. Out of the 24 trains, 18 will be directly imported while six will be manufactured locally as a part of the Make in India project. 

A spokesperson for NHSRCL said to The Print, “We are still in the tender floating process, and as and when we would need money, we shall spend it on our own and we’ll get it reimbursed later. In the first six months of next year, we’ll be able to finish all the tendering process. The work shall begin in full swing from July 2019.”

“So far, two tenders have been floated — one for the Vadodara institute, for which 30-40 per cent work has been already done, and another for the Sabarmati terminus, for which the tender has been awarded as well. This will take some time,” he added. 

Land acquisition remains a challenge

Land acquisition remains another major roadblock for the project to begin smoothly. The total land required for the project is 1,400 hectares. However, only 0.9 hectares of land has been acquired so far, reported The Print. Moreover, farmers in different states have been posing as stiff opposition in the implementation of the project. 

Meanwhile, two farmers from Palghar, Maharashtra have moved the Bombay High Court contesting the Maharashtra government’s power to acquire land for the construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor. They have even challenged the constitutionality of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2018. With all these troubles, the bullet train project seems a like long road ahead.

Speaking at The Economist India Summit 2018, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal dished some details on the process. He said, “Land acquisition procedure for the first bullet train project (Mumbai-Ahmedabad) will be over by December this year. We are taking more time because we engage landowners and hold dialogue for acquisition. We want to take them into confidence.” According to him, the delay caused by land acquisition may be compensated by the advancements in the Indian engineering sector. The work related to designing and assembling machines to build a 27 km under-sea tunnel as part of the project was already under progress.

Also Read: While Japan Denies Stopping Funding For Bullet Train, Farmers Say Their Consent Not Taken


Written by : Nimisha Bansal (Intern)

Edited by : Sromona Bhattacharyya

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Flamingos & Leopards To Lose Their Home Due To The Bullet Train Project

RTI Officer Suspended Bullet Train

RTI Information Officer Suspended For Providing Information On Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project

India Bullet Train

Bullet Train May Be A Loss Making Project: Maharashtra State Transport Department

BJP Leader Flags Indian Railways

Angry Over Nine-Hour Train Delay, BJP Leader Says,”Forget Bullet Train And Focus On Those Already Running”

Bullet Train Social Conflict

The Bullet Train May Trigger Social Conflict And Have Significant Environmental Cost

While Japan Denies Stopping Funding For Bullet Train, Farmers Say Their Consent Not Taken

Latest on The Logical Indian


On World Sparrow Day, These Villagers Adopted Low-Cost Nest Boxes To Save The Tiny Birds

Get Inspired

This People’s Movement In Karnataka Is Fighting To Save 21 Lakh Trees On Western Ghats


NIA Court Acquits Swami Aseemanand & 3 Others In 2007 Samjhauta Express Blast Case


Food In Karnataka’s Indira Canteens Unfit And “Not Within Satisfactory Limit”, Say Lab Reports


16-Yr-Old Kashmir Boy Shows Bravery At The Face Of Enemy, Receives Shaurya Chakra Award


Caste Struggle, Growth Of Capitalism Removed By NCERT From Class IX History Books


Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.