NEW DELHI: The work on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship bullet train project between Mumbai-Ahmedabad will begin this year and is expected to be operational on schedule in 2023, said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
“The ground breaking work on Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail (HSR) network will be done in 2017 and the work will be completed in 2023,” Prabhu said while speaking at the India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit.
India has advanced the construction work by a year as earlier it was planned to begin in 2018. It takes about seven hours to travel between the two cities and the bullet train aims to reduce it to about two hours.
Railways earlier this year succeeded in convincing Maharashtra government to give land at the Bandra-Kurla complex (BKC) for construction work. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was opposed to giving the land wanted to use it for the proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
Constructed at a cost of Rs 97,636 crore, the bullet train between Mumbai-Ahmedabad is being constructed in collaboration with Japan, which has offered an assistance of over Rs 79,000 crores for a period of 50 years.
It has been agreed upon to adopt Shinkansen Technology for Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR Project. The cooperation of Japan on this project will also be fixed on transfer of technology and ‘Make in India’.
Railway has formed a National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV), with a paid-up capital of Rs 500 crore for the project. Railways has already allotted Rs 200 crore for the SPV and Maharashtra and Gujarat will have equity of 25 percent each, while the Railways will have 50 per cent in the SPV.