Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday criticised the bullet train project, saying it will be a demonetisation-like move "which will kill everything else", and suggested that the money should instead be spent on improving rail safety.
The former finance minister's comments come a day after a stampede on a footbridge connecting Mumbai's suburban railway stations of Parel and Elphinstone claimed 22 lives.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said:
Railways should spend on safety, better infrastructure and better facilities. Not on bullet train.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 30, 2017
Bullet train is not for ordinary people. It is an ego trip for the high & mighty.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 30, 2017
Railway Minister may take pledge on day after. Rs One lakh crore for rail safety, track upgrading, signalling & not for bullet train.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 30, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had on September 14 laid the foundation stone for India's first bullet train between the two cities.
The Rs 1.10 lakh-crore project is expected to be completed by 2022. The train would cover a distance of over 500 km in around two hours.