Deadline for bullet train advanced by a year: Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal

Taking the moral responsibility of the rise in the train accidents, former rail minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to resign. later, during the cabinet reshuffle, he was replaced with Piyush Goyal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will on Thursday lay the foundation stone for India's first bullet train project, connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, in Ahmedabad, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. "The Prime Minister believes the country's engineers and workmen have it in them to complete the project a year in advance". The bullet train, being developed by Japan Railways is aimed to connect Ahmedabad and Mumbai at an estimated cost of Rs 98,000 crore.

Allaying criticism over the huge cost of over 1 lakh crore required for the projects, Goyal said after 160 years of history of railways in India, it is for the first time that a state-of-the-art technology is being brought to India.

The 500-km railway will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad in Western India, with services planned to commence in 2023.

The minister said the construction of the high-speed train corridor will boost employment as it will provide 4,000 directs jobs for running the system and generate 20,000 indirect jobs in construction. "It shall also benefit the farmers for transportation of agricultural produce in a fast mode", Goyal said. He is a prominent Indian resident of Japan for 21 years.

Japan was also ready to transfer the technology to India and sponsoring the project. The 50-year-period loan is being given to India at 0.1 per cent. Goyal said such an attractive loan was perhaps one of the cheapest in the world for infrastructure financing.

The project will start from Ahmedabad and will cover 508 kilometres via Sabarmati, Surat and Vadodara to reach Mumbai.

Apart from this project, various MoUs related to investments and tie-ups would also be signed in the presence of these leaders, the official said, adding that bilateral talks will also be held between the two here.

The railways will only require around 825 hectares of land for the project as 92 per cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent will go through tunnels and only the remaining two per cent will be on the ground. The bullet train is expected to become operational by 2023.

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