New Delhi, Aug 8 IANS | 4 months ago

Indian Railways will soon conduct studies on the proposed diamond quadrilateral network of high speed rail connecting the four major metros and growth centres of the country, Minister of State (Railways) Manoj Sinha Friday said.

Sinha informed the Rajya Sabha that Rs.100 crore has been provided in the railway budget for the high speed rail project.

According to the minister, the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) has formed a new fully-owned subsidiary - High Speed Rail Corporation of India (HSRC) -- which is to conduct the project studies.

The minister said the objectives of the new company include conducting pre-feasibility studies, preparing detailed project report (DPR), looking into technical parameters, model of concession agreement, developing financing models and obtaining various government approvals.

The minister added that for development and implementation of high speed rail corridors, skill enhancement of staff and officers will be carried out at appropriate institutes in India and abroad.

The diamond quadrilateral network is top of the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been pushing for it to build infrastructure projects such as high-speed railways and railway lines to and from coal mines and ports.

Prime Minister Modi, who led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in the recent national elections, promised to the people something they had never imagined could ever be implemented in India.

"We have such a huge rail network. But it is our misfortune that no attention is paid to the railways in the country. The change that Japan's rail system has undergone, it deserves to be applauded," said Modi during an election speech in the national capital.

"End of the day, the change there occurred because Japan introduced the concept of bullet trains and got the country elevated. China followed that concept. In India, we have such a long rail network, but don't think of its modernisation," said Modi, who has made a number of visits to both these countries to study their infrastructure development.

If this was not a major surprise for the people, Modi also promised what he called a diamond quadrilateral rail network, on the lines of a similar project for roads, with high-speed trains inter-connecting all the four metros and, with it, other key cities.

His idea: A person in any part of India should be able to reach any destination in no more than 24 hours using the country's road and rail infrastructure.

Today, for the record, the longest train service in India is Vivek Express that covers a distane of 4,272 km between Kanyakumari in India's south to Dibrugarh in the northeast, taking as many as 82 hours -- that is, more than three days, not counting the delays.

(Posted on 08-08-2014)

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