Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Thursday kick-started the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project.
“This project exemplifies a new India and is an expression of its dreams, its flight is limitless, its aspirations infinite, it’s an India that is flying high,” said PM Modi after the foundation stone laying ceremony in Ahmedabad.
The 500-kilometer, high-speed rail link between the financial hub of Mumbai and the industrial city of Ahmedabad is the dream project of PM Modi.
The Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project will be based on the Shinkansen super speed trains in Japan.
The Shinkansen — meaning ‘new trunk line’ — is the symbol of innovation and technological advancements in Japan after the devastation of the World War 2.
The official target for completion is 2023. However, government says it will attempt to have it running a year earlier.
Total estimated cost is 1.08 trillion rupees.
It will operate at a maximum speed of 320 kmph, cutting down travel time between the two cities to about two hours from eight hours.
Most of the corridor will be elevated, but will include a 21-kilometer tunnel with seven kilometers under the Arabian Sea.
The Japanese government is financing 81 percent of the cost, with a $13.8 billion soft yen-loan carrying an interest rate of 0.1 percent, payable in 50 years.