NEW DELHI: Japan will provide Rs 79,000 crore loan at an interest of 0.1 percent for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector and an agreement in this regard was finalized Saturday by Modi and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Announcing the India-Japan Railway cooperation, Modi said India greatly appreciate Prime Minister Abe’s extraordinary package of approximately 12 billion US dollars and technical assistance, on very easy terms, for this project.
“No less historic is our decision to introduce High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through the Japan’s Shinkansen, known for its speed, reliability and safety,” said Modi.
Japan has offered an assistance of over Rs 79,000 crores for a period of 50 years with a 15 years moratorium with the interest rate is 0.1 percent. The project is a 508 Kilometer line costing a total of Rs. 97,636 crores and to be implemented in a period of seven years.
It has been agreed that for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR Project Shinkansen Technology will be adopted. The cooperation of Japan on this project will also be fixed on transfer of technology and ‘Make in India’. Japan will assist India in training of personnel for HSR.
The Memorandum of Cooperation between the Government of Japan and India on High Speed Railways said that both sides confirm that Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor (MAHSR) will be developed with the use of Japanese high speed rail technologies Shinkansen system and experiences, in line with the result of the joint feasibility study on MAHSR.
“Both sides will take necessary steps so that financial and technical assistance for the MAHSR project will be provided by relevant Japanese institutions. Both sides will closely consult on the details of the implementation of the corridor including provision of a Japanese loan,” said the agreement.
Nations will explore further strengthening of their partnership in high speed railways, which is a high technology area having potential to transform India’s transportation sector. Both sides will form a joint committee headed by senior level officials respectively to accelerate the consultation between the two sides.
“The two Prime Ministers noted that India’s railways modernisation and expansion plans open up commercial opportunities for Japanese companies in high speed rail, station re-development and rolling stock manufacturing,” according to joint statement.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has submitted a final feasibility report on the network. The report suggested that fare of the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad may be somewhere around one and half times more than the fare of the first AC of Rajdhani Express and it would be around Rs 2,800. It is also estimated that by 2023 around 40,000 passengers are expected to avail this service everyday making it financially viable service.