India, Japan lay foundation stone for country?s first high speed rail project

India, Japan lay foundation stone for country?s first high speed rail project

NEW DELHI (INDIA): Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today jointly laid the foundation stone for India?s first high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.nnSpeaking on the occasion, at a large public meeting in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister spoke of the high ambition and willpower of ?New India.?nnHe congratulated the people of India on the occasion, and said that the bullet train project will provide speed and progress, and deliver results quickly. He said the Government?s focus is on increasing productivity through high speed connectivity.nnThe Prime Minister thanked Japan for the technical and financial help given to India, for this project.nnHe praised Prime Minister Abe for the fact that this project is being launched within such a short time.nnThe Prime Minister said that this high speed railway would not only bring two cities closer, but also bring the people living hundreds of kilometers away, closer to each other. He said a new economic system is being developed along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, and the entire area would become a single economic zone.nnThe Prime Minister said technology is useful only if it provides benefit to the common man. He said the technology transfer envisaged in this project will benefit Indian Railways, and boost the ?Make in India? initiative. He said the project would be eco-friendly as well as human-friendly.nnHe said ?high-speed corridors? would be regions for rapid growth in the future.nnThe Prime Minister said that the Government is working to ensure that infrastructure is developed keeping in mind futuristic requirements.nnHe expressed confidence that everyone would work together to complete this project in the shortest possible time.nnEarlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the India-Japan partnership is special, strategic and global.nnHe said that he hopes to see the beauty of India through the windows of the Bullet Train, a few years hence.nnPassenger informationnnThe train will have a top speeds of 320-350 km per hour and it is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities to around 2 hours from the existing 7-8 hours. The fares could be in the range of Rs 3000 – Rs 5,000.nnPassengers will have two speed options in trains:nn? High-speed: It will take 2.58 hours to reach the destinationnn? Rapid high-speed: It will cover the distance in 2.07 hours.nnCommuters and capacitynnInitially, each high speed train will have 10 cars and the capacity to accommodate 750 people, the media report said. It will increase to 16 cars that will accommodate 1,200 people.nnAccording to initial estimates, around 1.6 crore people are expected to travel by the bullet train annually. By 2050, around 1.6 lakh commuters should travel by the high-speed train on a daily basis.nnStationsnnOn the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, 12 stations have been proposed: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.nnRoutennThe railways will only require around 825 hectares of land for the project as 92% of the route will be elevated, six per cent will go through tunnels and only the remaining two per cent will be on the ground. India?s longest tunnel — 21-km-long — will be dug between Boisar and BKC in Mumbai, 7km of which will be under the sea.nnThe train tracks will elevated to 18 metres for most of its route to ensure the train runs over the existing railway route. The remaining, less than 40km, stretch will be under sea between Thane and Vasai, and underground in Mumbai, reported The Indian Express.nnProject completionnnThe 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) is scheduled for completion in December 2023, but commencement date has been sought to be advanced to August 2022.nnFundingnnTo fund the ambitious Rs 1,10,000-crore project, a loan of Rs 88,000 crore will be taken from Japan. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund it at a low rate of interest of 0.1% per annum. This loan has to be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.nnTraining and job creationnnThe government said it will create around 15 lakh new jobs in India.nnA dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute will train about 4,000 technical staff of the bullet train project, The Indian Express report said.nnThe Japanese government has also offered training of Indian Railways officials in Japan besides reserving fully-funded seats for the Master?s course in the universities of Japan for them.nnSecond bullet train project?nnThe Indian Railways will launch the country?s second high-speed train from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh. The train will run on standard broad gauge and the project shall be completed by 2024. The proposed train will cover the 458-km-long route in 2 hours and 30 minutes running at a speed of 300-350 kmph, reducing the travel time between New Delhi and Amritsar by about two and a half hours.nnProposed stops will be Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar. The fare will be fixed equivalent to that of Shatabdi?s AC executive class.nnJapanese experiencennJapan is a pioneer in high-speed rail networks, and its Shinkansen bullet train is among the fastest in the world. India will also get the safe Shinkansen technology but it would manufacture parts in the country under ?Make in India?.nnShinkansen, meaning ?new trunk line?, are trains shaped like bullets that run at the speed of 320 kmph. They have become a symbol of the country?s progress and technological advancements after the World War 2. Shinkansen have a reputation for punctuality and safety. The trains have never been in any accident since 1964, when they were introduced. The staff is asked to give an explanation if the trains are more than a minute late, a report  said.

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