India to run bullet trains, says Lalu (Lead)

January 19th, 2009 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Fresh from a ride on a Japanese bullet train, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Monday announced that India would soon have similar high-speed trains on select routes.”The day is not far off when the bullet train will run in the country,” Lalu Prasad told reporters here.

“The railways ministry will appoint global consultants for introducing the high-speed trains in India,” he said.

The possible routes would include Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Patna.

Lalu Prasad, who travelled from Tokyo to Kyoto on Japan’s famed Shinkansen high-speed train last week, said in Singapore Saturday that he would introduce bullet trains to link major Indian cities.

“Such bullet trains can link city to city. Very soon we shall be inviting global tenders for pre-feasibility studies. I plan to place the proposal before parliament,” he said at Singapore’s prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

The primary focus of the minister’s visit to Japan was to push for a $4-billion soft loan India is seeking for a dedicated freight corridor. The first phase of the project would link New Delhi and Mumbai.

The second phase would link Mumbai to Chennai, with the Chennai to Howrah corridor forming the next phase of the mega project, the minister said.

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