Japan has agreed to provide funding of approximately Rs 79,000 crore for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of high-speed rail network on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.
Appreciating Japan’s assistance, PM Modi said: “This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future. It will become an engine of economic transformation in India.” The partnership agreement with Japan on rail sector will also address many issues including safety and research confronting Indian Railways for years. Besides, providing active cooperation in the bullet train project, Japan will also assist railways’ research and design capabilities to address future challenges.
The project is a 508 kilometer line costing a total of Rs 97,636 crore and to be implemented in a period of seven years.
Japan has offered an assistance of over Rs 79,000 crore for a period of 50 years with a 15 years moratorium with an interest rate of 0.1 per cent.
In a boost to Modi’s ‘Make in India’ project, it is likely that up to 70-80 per cent of the components could be made in India.
Japan has offered technical support and was willing to drive the local manufacturing and technology transfer initiative within a specified period.
As per a report in Indian Express, Japan has worked out a “fare box revenue” model, meaning the bullet train fare will be just one-and-a-half times more than the AC-I fares of other trains on the same route.
This model proposes the bullet train fare to be around Rs 2,800, calculated on the basis of the current AC-I train fare of Rs 1,895.
The bullet train will cover the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, in just two hours. The corridor will have 10 stations.
The Centre is also mulling a special law for high-speed train corridors which may come up in the future.
The Japan bullet train (Shinkansen) is a super-fast, clean and safe way to travel. For over 50 years the service has been transporting passengers in Japan at an average speed of over 320 km/h.
A pure engineering beauty, the Japan bullet train has become an icon of the country’s culture.
India’s bullet project has a completion date of 2023. However, given the difficulty in buying land, it remains to be seen how much the deadline could further extend.