Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) bullet train project for which he and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone, would bring pace to development in the country.
"Bullet train will bring employment as well as speed. The Bullet train project is human-friendly and eco-friendly," he remarked.
Besides Modi and Abe, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal, minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha, Gujarat governor OP Kohli, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis were present at the event.
Modi and Abe also laid the foundation stone for the Vadodara High-Speed rail training institute.
The high-speed rail project, scheduled to be completed by 2022, has been financed by Japan.
Of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at a minimal interest of 0.1 percent for 50 years. The repayment will begin after 15 years.
The first tranche of the loan, Rs 6,000 crore, would be released immediately, while the remaining tranches will come after the completion of land acquisition. About 825 hectares of land would be acquired for the project.
Of the 508-kilometre stretch, 92 percent (468 kilometres) of the route will be elevated, six percent (27 kilometres) in tunnels and the remaining two percent (13 kilometres) will be on the ground.
The high-speed train would also pass through the country's longest tunnel (21 kilometres), of which seven kilometres will be under the sea.
Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
The distance will be covered in two hours and seven minutes, if the train stops at four stations Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will cover the distance in two hours and 58 minutes.
According to Railway Ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train would be 320 kilometres per hour and the maximum speed would be 350 kilometres per hour.
Later in the day, Modi and Abe are to participate in the 12th Annual Bilateral Summit in the state capital Gandhinagar. Abe arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday on a two-day visit.
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Updated Date: Sep 14, 2017 14:47 PM