Modi-Abe lay foundation for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project

AHMEDABAD, Sep 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today jointly laid the foundation for the much-awaited Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project at a mega ceremony here. Both the leaders also laid the foundation stone for the high speed training institute at Vadodara.
The Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) visionary project will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people and help the Indian Railways become an international leader in scale, speed and skill.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that efforts would be made to complete the project by August 15, 2022. The project will use the Shinkansen Technology known for its reliability and safety and is proven for more than 50 years.
The train delay record of Shinkansen is less than a minute with zero fatality. As a part of cooperation agreement between India and Japan, the Government of Japan will provide a soft loan of about R 88,000 crore at miniscule interest rate of 0.1 percent.
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 s 7-8 crore per month.
The 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed rail Project will come up at estimated completion cost of s 1,10,000 crore. In the first phase, the bullet train will cover 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and 12 stations have been proposed between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. They are Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
If the train will stop at 12 stations then it will cover the distance within 2 hours and 58 minutes and if it stops at four stations namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai, then the distance will be covered in 2 hours and 07 minutes. The operating speed of the high speed train will be 320 km per hour and the maximum speed will be 350 km per hour. As per the agreement between Governments, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project has “Make in India” and “transfer of technology” objectives.
The ‘Make in India’ objective will also ensure that most of the amount invested in this project would be spent and utilised within India.
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 and others as are existing in the training institute at Japan.
This institute will be functional by the end of 2020. The facilities at this institute will be utilised to train about 4,000 staff in next three years, who will then be utilised for operation and maintenance ensuring that this work is through skilled people in India rather than foreign dependent.
They will also serve as a backbone for future development of other High Speed Corridors in India. (Agencies)