For Bullet Trains, To be Launched In PM Modi's Gujarat, 100% FDI Proposed

 India's first bullet train will run in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat at a staggering cost of Rs.60,000 crore.

Soon after Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda announced the launch of the bullet train on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route in the Railway Budget, the Railway Board said it would not be possible without 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment or FDI.

The project will cost the country Rs. nine lakh crores.

"It is the wish and dream of every Indian that India runs a bullet train as early as possible," Mr Gowda said, adding, "It will take 60,000 crore for each bullet train. We need huge investment. I need to explore the alternative source apart from raising fares."

For now, he has proposed Rs. 100 crore to develop infrastructure for the trains.

Many feasibility studies have been conducted for bullet trains on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Currently, the fastest train between the two cities is the Shatabdi Express, which takes nearly seven hours.

The minister said other proposed routes for the bullet train services include Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai, Mumbai-Goa and Hyderabad-Secunderabad. 

The promise of a high-speed network was a key campaign promise of Mr Modi and his BJP, which came to power in May after a decisive election victory.

Mr Modi had announced a diamond quadrilateral of bullet trains to connect the four major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. The trains on these routes will have a speed of about 160km-200km per hour, the railway minister said.

The railway ministry, which is struggling to meet its investment targets, has proposed public private partnerships. Last year, it could only raise Rs. 2000 crore, a third of what it set out to achieve.

The ageing railways remain the main mode of long distance travel for most of India's 1.2 billion people, despite fierce competition from airlines.

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