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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shizo Abe will witness the commencement of work on Mumbai- Ahmedabad High Speed Train Project, popularly known as Bullet Train.
Briefing media persons about the ceremony, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “The commencement of work on the Country’s First High Speed (Bullet train) will begin on 14th Septemberin Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The groundbreaking ceremony shall be held in the presence of the two prime ministers.
The bullet train is an endeavour to bring economic growth and prosperity in the country with the growth of Indian Railways adopting most modern technologies. New Shinkansen Technology by the Japanese shall ensure more growth opportunities. The cost will go down further as the technology will grow massively and it will be developed under Make in India.
The financial assistance given by Japan is at a minimal interest and will not be a burden as it will be paid after 50 years at a minimal interest. This technology will revolutionize and transform the transport sector of India. This is an occasion to celebrate the advent of the most modern technology in India. It shall also benefit the farmers for transportation of agricultural produce in a fast mode.
The Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) is a visionary project which will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people and help Indian Railways become an international leader in scale, speed and skill.
Major portions of large scale infrastructure projects are financed by debt, and the cost of debt is a significant portion of the total costs. As a part of cooperation agreement between India and Japan, Government of Japan will provide a soft loan of about Rs. 88,000 crore at miniscule interest rate of 0.1%. The repayment period of the loan is 50 years.Repayment of loan is to begin after 15 years of receiving the loan, making it practically free since, this loan interest works out to roughly Rs. 7-8 crore per month
Generally, any such loan even from World Bank or such other agencies costs about 5-7% with a repayment period of 25-35 years, thus India is getting loan for the High-Speed Rail Project at almost zero cost without putting any strain on existing financial resources available with the country, as more than 80% of the project cost is being funded by Government of Japan. Clearly Peter is not paying for Paul.
As per the agreement between Governments, the MAHSR Project has “Make in India” & “Transfer of technology” objectives.Under the guidance of task force (DIPP and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)), action is being taken as per accepted concept paper guidelines.
A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed at Vadodara. This institute will be fully equipped with equipment and facilities such as simulator etc. as are existing in the training institute at Japan. This institute will be functional by the end of 2020.
In addition, 300 young officials of Indian Railways are being trained in Japan to give them exposure in high Speed Track Technology.
Key Features of project:
● Length 508 KMs (approx.), doubleline through two states, Maharashtra(156 KMs)and Gujarat(351 KMs) and UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (2 KMs).
● Longest tunnel 21 KM switch 7 KMs undersea (Thane Creek).
● 12 stations: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara,Anand, Ahmedabad,Sabarmati. Underground station Mumbai, all others elevated.
● Maximum Design Speed- 350 kmph;
● Maximum Operating speed of 320 kmph.
● Journey Time:- 2.07hrs (limited stops), 2.58hrs (stopping at stations) vis a vis existing train travel time of 7-8 hours