First bullet train project’s foundation stone laid by PM Shinzo Abe and PM Modi
Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
After launching the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail project, PM Modi thanked his Japanese counterpart for giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent for 50 years. Notably, the repayment will begin only after 15 years.
While calling PM Mod a true friend, Abe said the Indian Prime Minister is a far sighted leader.
“PM Modi made a decision of making ‘New India’ and chose Japan as the partner, we completely support it,” the Japanese leader asserted.
Besides Modi and Abe, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, Gujarat Governor OP Kohli, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also present.
Addressing the gathering, PM Modi congratulated the people of India as the dream of a bullet train in the country will now become a reality.
PM Modi took the opportunity to take a swipe a the opposition saying, “Earlier, when I talked about bullet train, they (oppn) used to say it was big talk, and now when it has come they are saying what is the need for it.”
Thanking Abe for taking a personal interest in India’ bullet train project and fastening the process, PM Modi said, “Bullet train is a big gift from Japan to India.”
Abe too stressed on strengthening Indo-Japan relations saying, “A strong India is good for Japan and a strong Japan is good for India.”
The Japan said Indo-Japan partnership is special, strategic and global and said he along with PM Modi will work towards realising ‘Jai Japan- Jai India’.
On a lighter note, the Japanese leader said, “I hope to enjoy the beauty of India through the windows of the Bullet Train when I come to India in a few years.”
Abe started his speech by greeting everyone with namaste and ended with dhanyavad.
The bullet train will run at an average speed of 320 km per hour with a maximum speed of 350 km per hour.
508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project will entail an estimated cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore.
Of the 508 km stretch, 92 per cent (468 km) of the route will be elevated, six per cent (27 km) in tunnels and the remaining two per cent (13 km) will be on the ground .
The high speed train would also pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea.
Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
The distance will be covered in two hours and seven minutes if the train stops at four stations — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has assured that the fare of the high-speed bullet train would be “affordable for all”.
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