India to Build 4 High Speed Rail Lines and 100 New Cities

After having worked on High Speed Rail feasibility (which almost pays for itself once property development returns are added in) in India this is good news.

Gulf News

New Delhi: Narendra Modi’s new government in India on Monday announced ambitious, Chinese-style plans to revive the struggling economy with everything from a nationwide high-speed rail network and a better tax system to improved schools and more toilets.

“The people of India have given a clear mandate,” President Pranab Mukherjee told parliament in a formal speech outlining the Modi government’s programme for the next five years.

“They want to see a vibrant, dynamic and prosperous India. They want to see a resurgent India, regaining the admiration and respect of the international community.”

The election of Modi as prime minister in May at the head of a Bharatiya Janata Party administration after a decade of increasingly lacklustre Congress rule has raised hopes among business leaders and ordinary Indians that the new government will boost investment and growth and create millions of jobs.

Mukherjee’s speech, prepared by Modi and his team, touched on almost every aspect of national life and mentioned a series of “national missions” — for example on health services — but did not mention specific legislation to be put before parliament. As he spoke, the Bombay Stock Exchange indices climbed to new highs.

Among the pledges was a commitment to a “Diamond Quadrilateral project of high-speed trains” — which echoes the “Golden Quadrilateral” of highways launched by the previous BJP government — and another to the construction of 100 new cities focused on specialised economic domains and “equipped with world-class amenities”.

Modi has made clear he wants to emulate China’s building of infrastructure and its welcoming of foreign investment as a way of ensuring accelerated growth for India.

“We need to transform ourselves into a globally competitive manufacturing hub, powered by skill, scale and speed,” Mukherjee said.

 

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