Gujarat is a fast urbanizing State with almost 43% of the State’s population living in Urban areas; including eight cities and 159 towns. The strategic location of Gujarat between the national capital of Delhi and Commercial capital of Mumbai along with its proactive Government have made it an important element in industrial growth of the entire nation. Keeping this in purview, Shri Narendra Modi has taken a step ahead in enhancing faster transportation in the State by emphasizing the need for High Speed Rail (HSR) Connectivity in his keynote address at the second High Speed Rail seminar organized in the city of Ahmedabad by Japan.
The need for HSR was deliberated during the seminar by Shri Modi taking into consideration the fast pace of growth attributed to the many upcoming Special Investment Regions (SIRs) at various corners of the State. Gujarat has set exemplary standards in the recent years in transforming its transportation infrastructure.
The successful implementation of the BRTS project in Ahmedabad which proved to be a failed experiment in other cities such as Pune and Delhi is one such outstanding feat. Known as Janmarg, the project was chosen as a part of UN’s Lighthouse Project last year. The project is also planned to be extended to the cities of Surat and Rajkot. It was the sheer political will of Shri Modi which facilitated miraculous outcomes to the Janmarg Project with awards such as Sustainable Transport Award and National Award for ‘Excellence in the category of the best ITS project’.
Another significant step forward has been the commencement of the work on the Metro Rail for Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. In order to ensure the cohesion, integration and safe functioning of all modes of transport, air, water and land,Shri Modi announced the formation of Multimodal Affordable Transport Authority (MATA) last year. With the development of world class cities along the coastline, MATA has aimed to guarantee faster waterway commutation as well as speedier conveyance for Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC).
Detailing further on High Speed Rail, plans for two Corridors in Gujarat have been envisioned. The Gujarat Government has sought to collaboratively work along with Ministry of Railways for a High Speed Rail Corridor between Ahmedabad– Mumbai–Pune and has carried out a feasibility study as well. The second High Speed Rail Corridor has been planned between Ahmedabad and Dholera. Moreover, the entire network shall be connected with an eco-friendly mode of transport and these High Speed Rail Corridors shall be integrated with the Metro Rail System and the Regional Rail Networks also.
The seminar held special significance as High Speed Rail connectivity has not been yet fully explored in many parts of the world. Additionally, to cover distances of 1000-1500 km, HSR could also replace air connectivity and thereby become a valuable means of transport. Shri Narendra Modi’s promptness in adapting technological innovations and at the same time optimizing international expertise has undoubtedly redefined the outlook of urban development in India!
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