FUKUOKA, JAPAN: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said his country was committed to making the bullet train project in India a reality as soon as possible, PTI reported.
The project is slated to cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore, of which the Japan International Cooperation Agency is slated to fund Rs 88,000 crore at an interest rate of 0.1%. The bullet train corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is proposed to be an elevated 508-km high-speed rail line meant to benefit diamond merchants, textile traders and other professionals shuttling between the two cities.
The Shinkansen high-speed bullet train, which India bought from Japan, will cover the distance in two hours. The project is expected to be completed in 10 years.
“In September last year, I took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new high speed rail service in India,” Abe said in a video message to a high-speed rail association conference in Fukuoka. “I was struck by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deep desire to provide inspiration to the people of India and by the Indian people’s high hopes for high speed rail services.”
Abe said the “shinkansen” or bullet train has played an important role in supporting the development of Japan’s economy. “…and in the near future, we look forward to the Shinkansen crossing the seas and also beginning to speed across the Indian continent,” Abe said. “Our government and the related companies are dedicated to making the Indian Shinkansen a reality as soon as possible.”
Former Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said urbanisation in India is similar to the story of Japan-India collaboration, The Straits Times reported. Japan first introduced small cars to India four decades ago, and the metro system two decades after that.
“There are many firsts in the India-Japan story, both politically and economically,” he said.