Bullet trains will be affordable with competitive pricing: Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal

On Monday, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal told the media that the Indian Railways ambitious high-speed rail project will give a boost to the Indian economy and give jobs opportunities to the people. The project will get completed by May 2023.

"With an interest rate of negligible 0.1 percent over an exceptionally long 50 years term and a no-repayment moratorium for first 15 years, the funding from Japan for the High Speed Rail, called Shinkansen in Japan, is nearly like a grant based on standard financial valuation calculations", Sinha had earlier said. The bullet train, being developed by Japan Railways is aimed to connect Ahmedabad and Mumbai at an estimated cost of Rs 98,000 crore.

During the groundbreaking ceremony of Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, Indian PM Modi and Japan's PM Shinzo Abe will be present. The interest on this loan is minimal at 0.1 per cent and it is to be repaid in 50 years, with a grace period of 15 years. Over two-third of the project will be in Gujarat and rest in Maharashtra. "We will innovate with the Bullet train technology", said Goyal.

The high speed train will also pass through the country's biggest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea.

To address the issue of trains getting derailed, a high-level meeting took place between rail minister Piyush Goyal, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani and other senior officers of the railways.

"They (Japan) are pioneers of bullet train technology, and their train has the highest punctuality rate", Mishra said.

The official, who in-charge of the bullet train project, said that while the deadline to launch the train will remain 2023, the railways is focused to start it keeping in view the Independence Day celebrations in 2022.

"About 825 hectares of land would be acquired for the high speed rail", he said.

The NDA government is aiming to advance the date of rolling out the first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai by about a year to August 2022.

While covering the 508-km stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the train will stop at 10 stations - Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand and Sabarmati.

Goyal also maintained that apart from technological leapfrogging, the project, through its Make in India component, will equip India with the ability to manufacture bullet trains with the latest technologies and eventually enable the country to export bullet train-related products as well. The train speed is likely to be around 320 km per hour.

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