Narendra Modi demands provisions for high speed rail in budget



Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said seriousness on implementation of high speed rail (HSR) should reflect in the railway budget and provisions for the same should be there to provide an impetus to the ambitious project.

"In the forthcoming budget of Centre, I expect that some seriousness should reflect on this (HSR)...Some provision should be there for HSR in the budget and then things would start connecting," Modi said while delivering keynote remarks at the second HSR seminar organised in India by Japan here.

"If the GoI takes an initiative, Gujarat government shall never be behind. The state will not shy from making its contribution to this prestigious project and shall provide all sort of financial and logistics support to it," he said.

A project steering group under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been formed, which is trying to evolve an appropriate financial model for HSR implementation.

Modi said out of the HSR corridors identified in India, Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune was the most economically viable one and in the backdrop of Gujarat's key role in Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), it would be prudent to speed up its implementation.

"Amongst the six high speed corridors identified in country, Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune seemed to be most economically viable one," Modi said.

The second seminar on HSR in India was organised by the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan, in association with Ministry of Railways, Government of Gujarat and CII.

"Since 1980, HSR has remained confined to thought level only, now it should speed up. We all know that Western Railway (WR) is the most revenue earning region for Indian Railways, and within WR the maximum income comes from Ahmedabad," Modi told the Japanese gathering.

PTI