How Mumbai Ahmedabad Bullet Train will supercharge India’s economy
Japan and India have come together to partner for High-speed rail projects to boost the Indian Railways. While speech safety and technology are a given, the project is expected to also contribute to the economy in many ways.
The Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project is expected to boost to infrastructure industry. Construction of high-speed train network is considered as heavy investment in infrastructure sector, however over the period of time, both research and practical experience have shown that the impacts of creation of this infrastructure have been a catalyst for growth in the areas, wherein it has been brought.
The estimated quantity of concrete in various components of the structure, which includes concrete bridges, piers, foundation, underground station and tunnels is about 120 lakh cubic meter (12 million m3). Such huge requirement of concrete translates into the cement requirement of about 55 lakh metric tonne. This entire requirement is expected to be consumed in a period of about three years, thus generating a demand of about 2 million tonne of cement annually during the construction phase of the project.
The estimated quantity of steel to be consumed during the construction of the project is about 15 lakh metric tonne, thus generating an annual demand of about 5 lakh tonne per year during the construction phase of the project.
The creation of High-Speed Network will thus create strong and steady domestic markets for rail and transit, driven by substantial and sustained capital investments. Strong domestic markets are also critical for export sales.
Employment generation with the project
The construction phase of the line will create opportunities for employment for about 20,000 construction workers.
After the commissioning of the project, direct employment of 4,000 employees will be created for the operation and maintenance of this high-speed line. Further, the project is likely to generate about 16,000 indirect employment opportunities.
Besides job creations, the project will bring skills in the field of ballastless track construction, installation of communications and signaling equipment, power distribution system. Modern and world-class practices will be adopted for maintenance of the railway system, which is expected to bring a paradigm shift in the maintenance practices currently being followed in Indian Railways.
With the distinct advantage of the availability of young and qualified manpower, India will not only create opportunities for its youth in the domestic market but can also be a leader in manufacturing to meet the demand of other countries.
High-Speed Railway is just not only for facilitating the movement of the people but will also contribute to the accelerated regional and urban development alongside the alignment particularly through its stations.
Sakamoto is JICA’s chief representative in India and has been engaged for many years in work to support the country’s development. He said the train system’s economic boost will be wide-ranging. For example, Sakamoto expects it to lead to development in areas adjacent to train stations as well as mitigate excessive economic concentration in large cities, helping India grow in a more balanced manner.
Critics, however, say the shinkansen system is an extravagance for a developing country.
Sakamoto counters that this is not exactly the case when considering the fact that India’s current gross domestic product per person is largely on a par with Japan’s level at the time it introduced the bullet train in 1964, when compared using an exchange rate that takes into account the purchasing power difference between the two countries’ currencies.
Ease of Travel
High Speed Rail offers its riders fastest, most comfortable way to travel. Direct connectivity to Central Business Districts and airports, little or no delays, speedy services and fast boarding add up time savings not possible on any form of transportation.
Time Savings: With Mumbai Ahmedabad high-speed rail, journey time between Mumbai to Sabarmati will be reduced to 2 hours as compared to 8 hrs. by conventional train or road.
Reliability: High-Speed Rail System is efficient and reliable as it is not subjected to congestion and delays. The confirmed reservation on demand, in most of the trains in Indian Railways is something which a common men desires but seldom fulfilled. Long waiting lists are quite common in most of the trains. The high-speed rails are being designed to fulfill this long awaited dream of travelling passengers. The project will not only cater to the current demand but will also meet the future demands with the same level of reliability and availability.
Capacity Enhancement: On proposed Mumbai Ahmedabad HSR route it is planned to run three trains per hour per day which will increase to 8 trains per hour. Initially on commissioning of the Project, daily users are expected to be 40,000 persons per day, which will increase to 156,000 per day by 2053. The carrying capacity of one HSR train will be initially 750 passengers which will be increased to 1250 passengers in due course. This is equivalent to the capacity of eight low-cost airplanes.
Maximum capacity of good quality four-lane highway in rush hour traffic is only 4000 people per hour, whereas the capacity of HSR is 16 trains per hour (both ways) or 20,000 people per hour. The expected modal share among different mode of transportation after commissioning of Mumbai Ahmedabad
Enhanced Safety: MAHSR project is being implemented based on Japanese Shinkansen design, which has a record of ” 0 passenger fatalities” in more than 50 years of operation. The system is designed to equip with Disaster Prevention System. It includes pre warning in case of earthquake so that train can be automatically stopped prior to tremor. The HSR route is being planned with elevated railway track with no level crossing in between thus ensuring enhanced safety as compared to Conventional Railway and Road.
Saving in Fuel and Energy: The HSR system is more efficient with respect to saving in energy and fuel. Studies show that HSR system is around three times more fuel-efficient than Planes and five times more fuel efficient than Cars.
Studies indicate that Road and Airport congestion cost America over 87 billion dollars per year in wasted time and fuel. Therefore they are also planning HSR system in California.
4.6 Environmental Benefits: The MAHSR project will ensure reduced CO2 emission as compared to other modes of transportation. CO2 emission per km traveled is one fourth of an airplane and two sevenths of a car. Thus it will ensure a significant reduction in carbon footprint. In fact, HSR is the back bone of a clean energy future.
No one claims HSR to be India’s silver bullet for developmental woes. However, history has shown that generous and proper investment in infrastructure has always resulted in economic growth in the future. Presently, India’s infrastructure is dilapidated or non-existent, denying India the luxury of cheaper upgrades. Were an HSR network not to be laid out, the same funds – if not more – would have had to be dedicated to more tracks, small-to-medium airports, expansion of present airports, and widening of roads. Some of this will have to happen anyway, but HSR takes the pressure off highways, airports. and regular rail. The question is not if India can afford high-speed rail, but if it can further afford not to develop it.
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