Ahmedabad, Sept 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, would lay foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) project.
The inauguration ceremony would be held here at the athletics ground near Sabarmati railway station. The project, jointly undertaken by state-owned Indian Railways and Japan’s Shinkansen Technology, would cover a stretch of 550-km between Ahmedabad, the Gujarat capital and Mumbai, the nation’s financial hub.
The bullet train – first in the nation – is expected to cost Rs 1.10 lakh crore. 81 per cent of the finances would be borne by Tokyo, which has extended a loan to the Indian government at an unprecedentedly low interest rate of 0.1 per cent. The period for loan repayment is slated to be 50 years.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad railway corridor, used frequently by traders and businessmen of both the states, currently takes eight hours to conclude a one-way journey.
The bullet train would reduce the commutation period by three-fourth, as the journey would conclude within two hours if the train stops at only four stations, and slightly over three hours it it halts at all stations falling under the incumbent Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.
The longer stretch of the route, approximately 351-km is covered within Gujarat, whereas, the remaining falls in Maharashtra. As per the construction plan, 92 per cent of the bullet train would travel through on elevated corridor, six per cent through a tunnel, submerged under the sea.
The tunnel would be longest in the nation stretching at a distance of 21-km, with nearly 7-km under the sea.
Apart from reducing the commutation time, the train would also make far more sorties between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. According to reports, the train, expected to ferry nearly 700 passengers in one round, would make around 7 sorties per day.
The original date for the project’s completion was slated in 2023. However, the newly appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the project would be completely by August 15, 2022, which marks the 75th anniversary of the nation’s independence. “The labourers, engineers and officials of India have it in them to complete the project within the next five years,” he said.