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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Thursday laid the foundation stone for India's first bullet train, which will run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai and is financed by Japan.
Both leaders inaugurated the Bullet Train Research Institute in Vadodara via video conferencing.
The two prime ministers also laid the foundation stone for an institute that will come up at Vadodara, where around 4,000 people will be trained for the bullet train project.
The Rs 1.10 trillion train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to be completed by 2022. The bullet train will have 12 stops of 165 seconds each. It will take two hours and 58 minutes to cover 500 km from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. If it stops at four stations, including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai and it will cover the distance in two hours and seven minutes.
Japan is giving a loan of Rs. 88,000 crore for the project at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent, which has to be repaid over 50 years.Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, said India exchanged four documents for Japanese loans and assistance, including a Rs.600 crore loan for the bullet train project.
Japan has extended a soft loan for the ambitious project conceptualised by Modi. The project is a joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan's Shinkansen Technology.
The prime ministers of the two countries also laid the foundation stone for an institute that will come up at Vadodara where around 4,000 people will be trained for the bullet train project.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis were also present on the occasion.
On the bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, PM Modi said, "It is a major step. It is not just the beginning of high-speed rail. I consider this railway philosophy a lifeline (jeevan rekha), considering our future requirements."
Repayment will begin only after 15 years. The first tranche of the loan, Rs. 6,000 crore, will be released immediately, while the remaining tranches will come after the completion of land acquisition.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)