The 516-km long, India's first high speed rail project will cost Rs 1,10,000 crore or $16 billion.
Mumbai: Piyush Goyal, new Railway Minister inducted into the Union Cabinet in last week's reshuffle, has said work on India's first high speed train popularly known as bullet train will kickstart on September 14 with a foundation stone laying ceremony in Ahmedabd.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are set to green flag the project on Thursday, September 14. Abe has indicated Japan, world's third largest economy, is expected to sign as many as 10 memorandums of understandings. It is also expected Japan will increase its investment into Gujarat from present $1 billion to $3 billion.
"The commencement of work on the country's first High Speed Rail (Bullet train) project will begin on September 14 in Ahmedabad," IANS quoted Mr Goyal as saying to the media persons. Goyal adds the bullet train technology would revolutionise and transform India's transport sector. Here are five things that will give you a peak into the maiden bullet train project.
1- India's first high speed rail corridor project, the bullet train, is coming along the 516-km long route between megapolis Mumbai and Ahmedabad, a fast growing city in the neigbouring state of Gujarat. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 1,10,000 crore or up to $16 billion at the current rupee-US dollar exchange rate.
2- The project forms part of India-Japan bilateral cooperation and trade facilitiation and partnerships. Japan will provide more than 65 per cent of the total cost in the form of loan and will charge a very meagre rate of interest. "Out of this Rs 1,10,000 crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore and the interest on this loan is minimal, ie 0.1 per cent," Goyal added.
3- Of the 516-long km route, a big stretch of 92 km length will be elevated and run atop bridges, 6 per cent will pass through tunnel, and the remaining 2 per cent will run on the ground, IANS report said. There will be an underground route in Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex area.
4- Around 21-km long tunnel, country's longest tube route, forms path of the project and the biggest being 7-km long undersea tube. It may be noted that earlier China was also in the fray to lay the bullet train line but the contract went to Japan as, officials say, it has an impeccable track record of laying and running bullet trains.
5- Railway Ministry officials say the average running speed of the maiden bullet train will be 320 km per hour which can also go up to its maximum limit of 350 km per hour. The route will have 12 stations/stops and a few of them are: Mumbai, Virar, Vapi, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.