To connect the four major cities of India, routes for feasibility studies for high-speed rail connectivity has been identified by the government. The possibility is being explored to connect Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai with the help of some foreign countries. Rajen Gohain, the Minister of State of Railways, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha listed routes for connecting major metros for which the feasibility studies have been taken up. The routes are as follows-
(ii) Delhi-Kolkata (via Lucknow)
(iv) Delhi-Nagpur segment of Delhi-Chennai
(v) Mumbai-Nagpur segment of Mumbai-Kolkata
The feasibility studies for Delhi-Nagpur, Mumbai-Nagpur, and Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru have been done under government-to-government cooperation with the governments of China, Spain and Germany respectively.
Connecting the major cities of India has always been the priority of the NDA government. The first NDA government brought the golden quadrilateral plan to connect four major cities of the country in east, west, north, and south. The cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai were connected through highways. The Modi government brought the Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor (GQFC) connecting four major cities of the country through a freight corridor to increase the share of freight transportation of railways. The country will get the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) on 15th August this year. It runs from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, Maharashtra and is the longest freight corridor in the country. The government is also building an Eastern DFC (Mughalsarai-Allahabad-Kanpur-Khurja-Dadri- & Khurja-Ludhiana) which is being funded by the World Bank through a loan of $2.360 billion. Except for EDFC and WDFC, three more corridors were approved by the Modi government in the 2016-17 budget. These are the 2328 km long East-West Corridor between Kolkata to Mumbai, the 2327 km long North-South Corridor between Delhi and Chennai, and 1115 km long East Coast Corridor between Kharagpur and Vijayawada to complete the Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor (GQFC). The railways are slowly gaining their edge in freight transport which stands at 36 percent of the country as of now. The newly dedicated freight corridors will once again give a chance to railways to capture the goods transportation market.
The high-speed rail (popularly known as Bullet train) will give a very fast connectivity to all four corners of the country for public transport. Road connectivity greatly improved after the golden quadrilateral project and this was the reason why many companies shifted to roads from railways in order to transport goods. The roads could be used for human as well as goods transport but the bullet train will be exclusively dedicated to passengers. To take care of freight transport the work on Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor (GQFC) is in progress. The seamless connectivity of passengers and goods will give the country an economic boost.
The major industries of the country are located in these cities, so connecting them for passenger and freight transport will give an economic upliftment to the country. Good infrastructure is the basic necessity for the economic growth of any country but India lagged behind on this front for decades. A country which has been historically known to trade in almost every corner of the world lost its edge because the government did not focus on connectivity within and outside the country. Now as the government has started realizing the importance of trade and connectivity, the country is expected to reclaim its economic glory in future.
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