Japan today has offered to finance India’s first bullet train, estimated cost of which is $ 15 billion at an interest rate of 1%. Japan was considered by India to evaluate possibility of building 505 Km long corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and now the country has offered to provide soft loan for the same.
- This project is part of ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ of high speed trains with 10,000km of track to connect the four metropolitan cities- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
- According to officials, Japan has offered to provide 80% of the project cost for Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor but their only condition is that India has to buy 30% of train equipment including the coaches and locomotives from Japanese firms.
- Previously China won the contract to check the probability of a bullet train connecting Delhi and Mumbai and covering a distance of 1,200-km route. The estimated cost of which were twice than what Japan has offered. But no loan has been offered yet.
- With the commencement of the bullet train, the period of journey between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be 2 hours instead of 7 hours. Japan’s International Cooperation Agency has surveyed the possibility regarding the bullet train.
- 11 new tunnels including one undersea near Mumbai will be required.
- According to Japanese officials, Japan was keen to collaborate with India as part of Make-in-India programme thus the offer.
- However, Indian Railway officials, India will come to a decision regarding the soft loan to assess possibility of whether the billions of dollar could be used in modernizing the whole Indian railway system.