NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State got a total of six trains, including a bullet train, which at 300-350 kmph is slated to become the fastest in the country, and a semi-high speed train. The Opposition objected to Gujarat and Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda’s State of Karnataka being given more trains, alleging that other states had been neglected.
The country’s first bullet train has been proposed between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Feasibility has already been completed while another study is expected by August. Gowda announced a budgetary allocation of `100 crore for Modi’s dream project, the Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail.
The Railways is also working to increase the speed of trains to 160-200 kmph in select sectors to significantly reduce travel time between major cities, Mumbai-Ahmedabad being one of the nine sectors chosen by the Railways.
Besides, the Railway Minister announced Ahmedabad-Darbhanga Jansadharan Express via Surat, Ahmedabad-Patna Express (weekly) via Varanasi and the Ahmedabad-Chennai Express (bi-weekly) via Vasai Road. Announcement was also made for gauge conversion of meter gauge line in Ahmedabad area up to Mahesana in the State.
Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi also got four trains, including New Delhi-Varanasi Express (daily), Chhapra-Lucknow Express (tri-weekly) via Ballia, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Ahmedabad-Patna Express (weekly) via Varanasi, and Buxar-Mughalsarai MEMU to Varanasi.
Of the 27 express trains Gowda announced, four would serve Karnataka.
The lone premium train he announced for Karnataka will run from Kamakhya in Assam to Bangalore, passing through West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Gowda’s home State does not find representation among the five new Jansadharan trains.
Major stations in India will soon match international standards with the Railways allocating `40 crore for the project. Several cleanliness projects will be outsourced to private players, said minister Sadananda Gowda.