Ambiguity continues over land for bullet train terminus in Maharashtra
13 September, 2017, 00:38
-Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone for India's first bullet train in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state this week, in a tightening of ties just days after New Delhi ended a risky military confrontation with China.
The symbolism of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holding parleys with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad from today can not be missed.
The eight-km-long road show would start from the Ahmedabad airport and culminate at the Sabarmati Ashram, according to the BJP.
With parliament in recess, Abe was "able to use the "crisis" in North Korea to monopolize the spotlight by getting the media to portray him as a strong leader", said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University. Thus, the fare structure of the bullet train is expected to range anywhere between Rs3,000 and Rs5,000, depending on their speed, said officials.
With capacity to accommodate 750 people, the bullet train is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities from seven to roughly three hours.
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Apart from such extravagant preparations, some projects planned for Gujarat will also be highlighted. India is a key partner to carry out Prime Minister Abe's free and open Indo-Pacific strategy. Abe along with Modi will lay the foundation stone for the marquee Rs 1.1 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which Japan is financing.
In 2015, China won a contract to assess the feasibility of a high-speed link between Delhi and Mumbai, part of a network of more than 6,214 miles of track India wants to set up, but little progress has been made. The soft loan has been provided at a rate of interest of 0.1% per annum with a repayment period of 50 years, which includes a grace period of 15 years.
To ensure safety and prevent delays on account of land acquisition, railway has decided that 92 percent of the route will be elevated, 6 percent in tunnel and only 2 percent will be on the ground. The ceremony will be held at a site near the Sabarmati railway station in the city.
In a day, the high-speed train will make 70 Ahmedabad-Mumbai sorties.
The two leaders are expected to sign several agreements during the visit and inaugurate a Japanese industrial park in the state that already hosts Honda and Suzuki auto plants. In terms of investment and development projects, the big focus would be the "Asia-Africa Growth Corridor" (AAGC) that India is planning to develop along with Japan as also focus on development of North-Eastern states of India with Japanese assistance.
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