Construction of one kilometre of high speed railway track will cost Rs 100-140 crore (Rs 1-1.4 billion) and the country will need a total of Rs 80,000 crore (Rs 800 billion) to lay the entire high speed train corridor, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the cost of laying one km of high speed track was 10 to 14 times higher than the construction of a normal railway track.
"We will need Rs 80,000 crore to construct the entire length of the planned high speed tracks," he said replying a supplementary during question hour.
Prabhu said Indian Railways currently does not have any high speed corridor and such corridors identified for pre-feasibility studies included Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bengaluru- Coimbatore-Ernakulum-Thiruvananthapuram.
"A joint feasibility study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor co-financed by India and Japan, which started in December 2013, is targeted for completion in June 2015," he said.
The Minister said a provision of Rs 33 crore (Rs 330 million) was made in the last Railway Budget for a study of Diamond Quadrilateral and other high speed rail corridors and Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) has been proposed in the current budget 2015-16 for it.
"A provision of Rs 19 crore (Rs 190 million) has been included for feasibility study of Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Railwa Corridors in the Railway Budget 2015-16," he said.
Presently, the maximum speed is 150 kmph of Shatabdi Express on the Delhi-Agra section while the average speed of Mail and Express trains in India in 2013-14 was 50.6 kmph.
Replying to another question, Prabhu said there were 80 train accidents in 2014-15 till February 2015 in which 123 people lost their lives and 335 injured. In 2013-14, there were 71 train accidents in which 54 people were killed and 119 were injured.
It has been found that in 2014-15, 57 accidents took place due to failure of railway staff, which was 50 in 2013-14.