Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train By 2024, At An Estimated Cost Of Rs 9,800 Crore

Indian Railways announced on 14Feb 2016, Sunday that it plans to invest Rs 9,800 crore in the bullet train project along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.
The high speed train is expected to run at speeds of 300-350 kmph. The project is funded by the Japan Investment Co-operation Agency (JICA) which would provide 81% of the investment as loan, at an interest rate of 0.1% for the 508 km for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed corridor. JICA has agreed to provide the loanon a long term basis, for a term of 50 years with a moratorium period of 15 years, when in the borrower does not need to make any repayment. This project will be part of the on going ‘Make in India’ program. 20% of the components are planned to be sourced from Japan but will be manufactured in India, in support of the ‘Make in India’ program by the Modi government.

On the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, the Bandra-Kurla complex has been identified as the railway station in Mumbai. The station will be constructed three levels underground, which will not affect the future planned financial center in the same area. The Maharashtra State Government has not shown any eagerness to provide land for the project. The land where Railways has proposed the station is the same place which MMRDA is planning to develop the International Financial center. The government officials also said that instead of Bandra-Kurla Complex, the Railways could shift the station to either to Bandra Terminusor Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.  

Passenger trains in India run with an average speed of 50-60 kmph and few trains run at speeds of 80-90 kmph. India will witness the High Speed Rail (HSR) for the first time with the average travel speed of 240 kmph and maximum speed touching 320 kmph, covering 500 km in two hours.
There are no financial institutions in India that could provide such a huge fund to be repaid over a long time, in such a scenario the deal signed between India and Japan is important. JICA has financed several projects in India like the Delhi Metro besides other economic and social projects. Several other countries were ready to sell their HSR systems to India, but did not provide any financial aid. Shinkansen, the Japanese HSR system is one of the best wheel and rail HSR system in the world with excellent safety record.

The work on the high speed rail corridor will commence by late 2017 or early 2018 and will get completed in five years once started. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor is one of the most ambitious projects announced by Prime Minister Modi government and is on the priority list.

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