Rs. 60,000 crores (26 August 2014)
When Sadananda Gowda was railway minister, news came out that the projected cost of an Indian high speed train was 60,000 crores. China was pitching the cheapest quotes. Later, Sadananda Gowda’s son became embroiled in a love-rape-betrayal case. There was also planted stories that his assets have increased in a short period. Gowda was removed as railway minister shortly afterwards.
16 May 2015 – Rs. 80,000 Crore
The Hindu reports that railway minister Suresh Prabhu has increased the price by Rs. 20,000 crore (over USD 3 billion) to Rs. 80,000 crore (over $12 billion). General Electric or Seimens must be very happy. These white elephant projects will never achieve financial closure. Politicians, government officials, contractors and lending institutions are greatly attracted to high-capital-cost projects for a good reason. People will keep on paying forever. Can our politicians ensure basic services properly? No? But, they are get us run high-speed trains anyway.
A single kilometer of high-speed-train tracks is expected to cost Rs. 100 to 140 crore. It is as if India has no poor people or major financial problems. Can we afford these luxuries?