Govt plans spl authority to execute bullet train project

National High Speed Rail Authority, a first of its kind in the country, is being planned to execute the high-speed rail corridor plan. It would be a focused independent body comprising experts. "The exercise is on to constitute the authority at the earliest," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

While the basic functioning of the body will be for planning, standard setting, implementation and monitoring the ambitious project, the details are being worked out. About the pattern being adopted for the authority, he said, "We are examining various provisions of different agencies like California High Speed Rail Authority to decide on it."

Railways have identified six routes as possible high-speed corridors for running bullet trains at the speed of 250 to 350 km per hour. "While we have undertaken the feasibility study of Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, the next route to be taken up for similar study is Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar sector," the official said.

Termed as 'Golden Corridor', the Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar route will have a one-km-long passenger corridor, the construction of which is estimated to cost about Rs 50-70 crore. "Draft report of the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route has been submitted by the consultant and the final report is expected to be submitted by the month end," the official said. The other identified routes are Howrah-Haldia, Delhi-Patna, Hyderabad-Chennai and Chennai-Ernakulum.

Bullet trains are currently running successfully in many countries like Japan and France. It attracts more passengers, generate more revenues and have lower unit costs of operation. It is believed that high-speed train 'the Shinkansen' in Japan has been very effectively competing with air transport.

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