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As India and Japan embark on an ambitious bullet train project worth Rs 1 lakh crore, The Quint debates whether the initiative would be economically viable. This is the View. You may like to read the Counterview by S Pushpavanam

While inaugurating Bombardier’s metro rail coach factory at Savli in Vadodara in November 2008, Narendra Modi as chief minister of Gujarat took a jibe at the Congress Party. Those who talk of vote bank politics talk of bomb, he said, hinting at the Congress Party’s affinity to a particular community. But for him it was development and Bombardier, a reference to the Canadian manufacturer of trains and airplanes.

Nine years later, the Congress is questioning the prime minister’s decision to invest in a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It faults his priorities and love for giant projects. The investment of over Rs 1 lakh cr could have been better spent in improving the speed and safety of the railway network, its spokespersons say, though they know that the Japanese loan which will finance 85 percent of the project is not replaceable; the money cannot be diverted.
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