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P. Chidambaram says bullet train project will be demonetisation-like move

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-09-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday criticised the bullet train project, saying it will be a demonetisation-like move “which will kill everything else”, and suggested that the money should instead be spent on improving rail safety.

The former finance minister’s comments come a day after a stampede on a footbridge connecting Mumbai’s suburban railway stations of Parel and Elphinstone claimed 22 lives.

The bullet train project, linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is not for ordinary people but an “ego trip for the high and mighty”, he alleged.

Chidambaram also suggested that railway minister Piyush Goyal should instead use the Rs1 trillion meant for the project for ensuring railway safety in the country. “Bullet train will be like demonetisation. It will kill everything else including safety.

“Railway Minister may take pledge on day after. Rs1 lakh crore for rail safety, track upgrading, signalling & not for bullet train,” he said on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had on 14 September laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train between the two cities. The Rs1.10-trillion project is expected to be completed by 2022. The train would cover a distance of over 500km in around two hours.

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