Bullet Train Plans For South India: Three Potential Corridors To Fast-Track Growth

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jul 01, 2024, 03:53 PM | Updated 03:53 PM IST

The bullet train project has the potential to kick-start the economic aspirational chain at multiple levels.
The bullet train project has the potential to kick-start the economic aspirational chain at multiple levels.
  • The introduction of bullet trains can further the South Indian growth story.
  • The central government recently announced the commencement of feasibility studies for bullet train corridors in the northern, southern, and eastern regions of the country.

    In South India, three routes can be planned for their potential to transform regional connectivity and economic activity:

    1. Chennai-Coimbatore-Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram Corridor

    Chennai is the largest industrial and commercial centre, renowned for its automobile manufacturing, medical tourism, hardware manufacturing, data centres, and financial technology (fintech) industry.

    Coimbatore, known as the "Manchester of South India," is a major industrial hub with a thriving textile and engineering sector.

    It is home to some of Asia’s largest garment manufacturing companies, exporting hosiery clothes to many countries. It houses many small-scale engineering companies and is also one of the major gold jewellery manufacturing hubs in India.

    Kochi, a vital port city, boasts a strong maritime economy and is a gateway to international trade. Major business sectors include manufacturing, shipbuilding, seafood and spice exports, and the chemical industry.

    Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, is a key administrative and cultural centre.

    This 850-kilometre (km)-long corridor will foster economic integration among these diverse South Indian cities, facilitating swift business travel and trade.

    Enhanced connectivity will enable companies in Chennai to collaborate more effectively with industrial partners in Coimbatore and leverage Kochi's port facilities for international exports.

    Thiruvananthapuram's administrative functions will also benefit from improved access to the rest of the region.

    2. Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Mysuru Corridor

    Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is a major economic and cultural hub with a robust information technology (IT) industry. It houses the largest campuses of technology giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple outside of the United States of America (US).

    Bengaluru is the world’s fastest-growing tech hub and is home to the research and development (R&D) centres of Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. The city's IT sector employs over 40 lakh people across India.

    Mysuru also hosts operations for prominent IT companies such as Infosys, Wipro, and L&T Infotech. It is also home to major manufacturing units, including BEML, KSIC, and Larsen & Toubro.

    Bengaluru and Mysuru are the two cities that contribute the most to the economy of Karnataka.

    This 600-km bullet train corridor will significantly reduce travel time between these dynamic cities, fostering greater economic collaboration.

    The tech industry in Hyderabad and Bengaluru will benefit from more efficient business travel and resource sharing, while Mysuru's industry and tourism will gain easier access to both metropolises.

    3. Visakhapatnam-Amaravati-Hyderabad Corridor

    Visakhapatnam, a major port city, is known for its steel plant and shipyard. Amaravati, the de facto capital of Andhra Pradesh, is envisioned as a modern, green, and sustainable city. Hyderabad, a major economic and cultural hub with a robust IT industry, can complete this 700-km route.

    This corridor can link Visakhapatnam's industrial strength with Amaravati's administrative functions and Hyderabad's tech capabilities.

    The enhanced connectivity will promote balanced regional development, encourage investment in Amaravati's ambitious urban projects, and leverage Visakhapatnam's port facilities for trade.

    The route can also facilitate the exchange of ideas and resources, driving economic growth in the region.

    Overall, the introduction of bullet trains not only catalyses development directly along their route but also stimulates ancillary activities across associated areas.

    V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

    Get Swarajya in your inbox.