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Rail Min Malikarjun Kharge launches high speed rail corp, cautions against adopting cheap technology



Updated On - Saturday, 16 November 2013

29 October 2013

NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Malikarjun Kharge has said India's high-speed rail plans should be guided by what the existing infrastructure can support and not by availability of new technology that may be offered at low cost.

"We need to take the practical account into consideration. We have 64,000 km of existing lines but we cannot run high-speed trains along all of them," Kharge told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on high-speed rail corridors in India.

"We want that the requirements for running trains with a speed of 100-150 kmph on existing structures be worked out. We may be offered technology by other countries saying it is cheap, but we need to think whether it will suit us."

The ministry on Tuesday also launched the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC), which will look into implementation of these projects. The body will co-exist with the High-Speed Rail Authority, which was announced last year.

"The High Speed Rail Authority and the corporation will co-exist. The authority will report directly to the railway ministry," Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar said.

"The HSRC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam. The authority will decide on issues of standardisation and various parameters while the corporation will proceed on those parameters."

The government has identified seven high-speed corridors for technical studies. These are Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Allahabad-Patna, Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijayawada-Chennai, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Trivandrum, Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur and Delhi-Chandigarh Amritsar.

The HSRC will also undertake preparation of technical standards for Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor and any other corridors decided by the government. It will assist the ministry finalise the financial and implementation models for the corridors. It will also coordinate with state governments on issues like land acquisition and funding.

Published by: The Economic Times

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