India needs safe Rail system, Not Bullet trains: Sreedharan


New Delhi, July 2: Retired civil engineer Elattuvapil Sreedharan, popularly known as the Metro Man of India, said the Indian Railways is “20 years behind those of advanced countries” and what our country needs is a modern, clean, safe and fast rail system.

In an interview with the Hindustan Times, he stated bullet train is an expensive mode of travelling and it will cater only to the elite community”. “What India needs is a modern, clean, safe and fast rail system.”

On recent trains accidents, Sreedharan said, “Accident record has not improved. Many also die on tracks, at level-crossings, in suburban sections. Almost 20,000 lives are lost on tracks yearly. I feel Indian Railways is 20 years behind those of advanced nations”.

When asked that Railways also made rapid progress with bio-toilets, speed, cleanliness, responding to this the Retired civil engineer asserted “I do not agree that the Indian Railways has made rapid progress. Apart from bio-toilets, there is no technical upgradation. Speed has not increased. In fact, the average speed of most prestigious trains has come down. Punctuality is worst – officially 70%, actually less than 50%”.

Sreedharan will head a high-level committee to lay down indigenous technical standards for all metro rail systems across the country. Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved his appointment.


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