India's First Bullet Train to start by 2023; Sanjeev Sinha named adviser

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India's First Bullet Train to start by 2023; Sanjeev Sinha named adviser

Japan Railways has appointed Sanjeev Sinha as Advisor for project of Ahmadabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail.

Twelve stations have been proposed for the line: Mumbai Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. Over two-third of the project will be in Gujarat and rest in Maharashtra.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is being financed through a "soft loan" from Japan International Cooperation Agency with around 80 per cent of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore total cost.

"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 Rs 7-8 crore per month", said a railway statement. This loan is to be repaid to Japan in 50 years.

According to railway ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train will be 320 kilometers per hour and maximum speed will be 350 kilometers per hour. If the bullet train will stop at all 12 stations, then it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes. The funding for this project comes as the part of a low-interest loan extended to India by Japan. The high-speed train will considerably reduce travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which are major commercials hubs.

From the total 508-km stretch, 92 percent of the route will be elevated, 6 percent will pass through tunnels, including tunnels under the sea, and the remaining 2 percent will be ground-based.

Already ground surveying using LiDAR technology and geotechnical investigations have been completed, as well as specifications for track, tunnels, bridges, signalling and telecoms. Expected to cost almost ₹1.10 lakh crore, the first Bullet Train is expected to be ply on Indian soil by 2022.

As the government mulls moving the deadline forward for completion of the project from March 2023 to August 15, 2022 when the country celebrates its 75th year of independence, Goyal said, keeping in mind the speed with which the government has implemented all projects he is confident that this project too will be completed before deadline. "The bullet train will bring in the latest global railway technology in India and place India on a par with developed countries", he said.

Goyal added that Shinkansen technology can be exported from India and the cost of technology can rapidly decrease, as it happened in LED bulbs.

Authorities estimate that the project will create 20,000 jobs during construction and later sustain 4,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs once it is operational. Four sub-groups with representatives from Indian industry, Japanese industry, DIPP, and the National High Speed Rail Corporation have been formed and are looking at systems and sub-systems to push "Make in India". The high-speed train is created to have ten cars with 750 people capacity and is slated to carry around 36000 passengers every day in a total of 70 rides both sides.

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