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A special and expensive project like this is usually undertaken to connect the capital and the other most important city (e.g. a financial center, or a port city, or a strategically important city.).

For instance,

  1. Moscow – St. Petersburg
  2. Ankara – Istanbul
  3. Beijing – Shanghai

and so on.

If we consider population by provinces, Gujrat comes at 9th place. If we consider population by cities, Ahmedabad comes at 5th place.

If we consider the financial activity of the provinces, then my vote goes to Mumbai-Lucknow as again Ahmedabad comes at 5th place. Ahmedabad's name doesn't come as one of the richest cities.

Why is Modi establishing bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad? Is this some kind of nepotism? Or, is it corruption?

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    Why would one think gdp or population are the prime factors in this? I would guess (I know nothing about Indian rail) looking at use of existing lines and infrastructure factors like hills or bridges would be more important non-political measures. And I'm not 100% clear that pilot programs ought to be totally politics-blind.
    – user9389
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:57
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    Japan : Tokyo to Niigata.
    – mootmoot
    Sep 20, 2017 at 16:38
  • One counterexample is Ukraine's only piece of motorway connects Harkov and Dniepropetrovsk (since renamed to Dnieper), leaving capital Kiev behind.
    – alamar
    Jul 22, 2023 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

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Gujarat is a historical and traditional stronghold of BJP since its inception. BJP has held Gujarat since 1995 except for an interregnum between September 1996 and March 1998.

Modi's bullet-train move will serve two main objectives:

  1. Gujarati businessmen will be able to exert more influence in Mumbai which is the financial capital of India.

  2. Bullet train will make the traditional BJP voters happier.

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Mumbai is an "Alpha world city". One of the largest, and economically most important cities in the world.

Ahmedabad is a major city of India, of great importance nationally. The fifth city in India. There are no cities larger than Ahmedabad that are closer to Mumbai.

That there should be good transport links is a no-brainer. A high-speed train link is one obvious way to connect these two important economic hubs. You also get to put a station at Surat, another huge city. And since it is coastal, there are fewer issues of mountains in the way etc.

Lucknow is in Uttar Pradesh, three times further away and with the Western Ghats in the way.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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