India’s new railway minister Piyush Goyal on Monday advanced the deadline for building the country’s first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai by a year.
The ministry decided to advance the high-speed rail project, popularly known as the bullet train, from 2023 to 2022, the Press Information Bureau said in a statement. India is partnering with Japan for the project.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone of the first bullet train on September 14 at the Sabarmati station, which will also be the first terminal for the project. Abe begins a two-day visit to India on Wednesday, during which he and Modi will hold the 12th India-Japan annual summit in Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
The 508-kilometre Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project will cost around Rs 1.1 lakh crore, of which Rs 88,000 crore will be in the form of a soft loan advanced by Japan at an interest rate of 0.1 percent, to be repaid in 50 years with a 15-year grace period, the PIB statement added.
The project will cover 12 stations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, including Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
The train speed is likely to be around 320 km per hour and will reduce the travel time between the two cities to three hours from seven hours currently.