Sena criticises Modi's bullet train project

Mumbai, Sep 14 (IANS): Severely criticising the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, ruling NDA ally Shiv Sena on Thursday dismissed it as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "expensive dream" which will "loot the nation of Rs 108,000 crore".

Moreover, the newly-appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal -- who is also the BJP treasurer -- has been specifically brought in only for this project, the Sena said, adding "as part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's 'policy of transparency'."

The foundation stone of India's first high-profile high-speed rail project was jointly laid in Ahmedabad on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

"Japan will bring everything for the project - from nails to rails, manpower to technology and even cement-concrete,... The land and money will come from Gujarat and Maharashtra, and Tokyo will rake in all the profits. But, despite the loot and fraud, all are congratulating Modi's pet project," the Shiv Sena said in sharp edits in the party's mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".

The Sena also pointed out that Mumbai's overburdened and unsafe suburban rail network was suffering for lack of funds and improvement, many incomplete rail projects languish in the state.

"However, bullet trains will now zip between Ahmedabad-Mumbai without anybody even asking for it."

"Bullet Train is not India's ordinary masses' dream... It will cater only to the rich-and-wealthy classes for which Goyal has been specially chosen..., and to give something 'new' to the industrialists of Gujarat where elections are coming up shortly," the Sena pointed out.

Recalling past mega-projects, the Sena said first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation for many developmental projects and PSUs, ranging from the Bhakra-Nangal Dam to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and many other schemes that helped the country progress in technology and science.

"All those projects were needed by the country. Is the bullet train a project of national importance for which such a huge amount is being spent to cover the 508-km distance at 350-kmph speed?" the Sena demanded.

Training guns on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Sena said of the 508 km, 156 km and four stations will run through this state for which it would need to shell out at least Rs 30,000 crore, plus tackle the problems of rehabilitation of farmers and project-affected-persons.

"When we raised the issue of complete waiver of farmers' loans, the CM had warned of 'anarchy' in the fund-starved state. Now, you (CM) are putting Rs 30,000-plus for the PM's rich dream," the Sena taunted.

Though the BJP is touting the high-speed rail as Modi's dream, the Sena reminded it was also Modi's ambitious dream to bring back Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir into India, "after which the bullet train should run smoothly from New Delhi to PoK via Kashmir and Tibet", it challenged.

"Now we hope and pray... the bullet train is not used to carry out a 'plunder' of Mumbai," the edit concluded.

Comment on this article

  • Vincent D'Souza, Belthangady

    Sat, Sep 16 2017

    The elite & the wealthy Gujarathis have made Mr. Modi Scapegoat. Mr. Modi, u please first stop the Bullets being fired by Pakistan on our Jawans & innocent people. The roads are in some states r in dismal condition. When will the Bullet vehicles pass on these Roads?

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter, KSA

    Sat, Sep 16 2017

    All drama for Gujarat election. Once election is over, bullet train will come to a standstill. Poor Japanese PM thought he will get a big project. He doesn't know he is being used for election campaign.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Don, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 15 2017

    There are many issues with HSR (high speed rail) and I am not sure if the government has taken all of them into consideration. My 3 main concerns are:
    1. Environmental issues, and compensation to farmers already in debt.
    2. The cost of producing and maintaining the system which is very expensive.
    3. With Hyperloop technology being developed by Elon Musk a train could travel in a vacuum tube with speeds up to 1200 Kms an hour. The cost of the ticket will be economical because the train will use solar power.

    Hence, if Hyperloop is a success, it would make HSR absolute.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Stanley, Mangaluru

    Fri, Sep 15 2017

    OBSOLETE, not absolute my friend Don...I agree with you one hundred percent...!

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • G M Hegde, Udupi

    Fri, Sep 15 2017

    This will higly upgrade our technological know how and help us to upgrsde our existing rail system. Technical school is also included in this project. Its like bringing a knocked down kit and then gaining tech to design and manufacture our own..

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Mark Dcruz, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 15 2017

    Modi himself is one bullet train ..☺

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, Dubai

    Thu, Sep 14 2017

    Investment Rs 108,000 crore for 508-km (Mumbai - Ahmedabad distance at 350-kmph speed?
    another side
    "first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation for many developmental projects and PSUs, ranging from the Bhakra-Nangal Dam to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and many other schemes that helped the country progress in technology and science"

    Both points most notable

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • JAGDISH, mumbai

    Thu, Sep 14 2017

    Now i am think what if our prime minister was Pongyong of North America.what all thes intellectuals/shivsena/award wapsi gang have to say what ever he does they will say it was good decision....feeling sad for my country.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Thu, Sep 14 2017

    Bullet trains might have been thought of having only when our existing train tracks are perfect

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

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