China has unveiled a bullet train that will cut down the travel time between Guangzhou and Wuhan from 10 hours to less than three.
This new train will be the fastest in the world and serves yet another reminder about how quickly China is building world-class infrastructure, even as India makes do with potholed roads, overextended airports and rattling trains.
There has been progress in rebuilding national highways and modernizing airports. But the train service is still frozen in time, which is a pity since more Indians travel by train than by car or planes. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had as far back as 2004 called for high-speed trains between major Indian cities. There has been no progress since then.
Interestingly, users of the new bullet train in China will have to pay to save journey time. China Daily reports, “Tickets for regular services range from 50 to 280 yuan but to travel on the new 350km/hour link costs about 800 yuan for first class and 500 (yuan) for second class.”
In India, making people pay for public services is political dynamite.