Wednesday, December 23, 2015

RJD chief Lalu Yadav has written a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister raising questions about the viability of bullet trains in India. Holding the NDA government responsible for the deteriorating financial health of Indian Railways, Mr Yadav on Tuesday wrote a two-page letter to PM Narendra Modi objecting and asking him to withdraw his decision. Mr Lalu Yadav termed the bullet train in India as a “white elephant”.

“It is ironical that the railways has decided to ride a white elephant like a bullet train at a time when it is facing its worst existential crisis,” RJD chief Lalu Yadav wrote to the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Before he dispatched the letter to the PMO, he said “one short-distance bullet train project of Rs 98,000 crore would slow down the lives of 90 per cent Indians. Development should take place, but not at the cost of the poor.”

In his letter he mentioned that the railways is facing a “grim battle for survival” and making an investment of “`1 lakh crore for an unviable bullet train is like putting the cart before the horse”. He said the railways needed renewal, modernisation, replacement of ageing infrastructure and technological upgradation. He added that instead on investing in bringing bullet trains to India “the government should consider investing `1 lakh crore annually for the next eight years to strengthen and modernise Indian Railways”.

In his letter, Mr Yadav asked the PM to explain the rationality of spending Rs 1 lakh crore on a single bullet train project in a country where people die due to poverty, illness and still defecate in the open.

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