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Piyush Goyal confident Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project will be ready one year before schedule

12 September, 2017 12:40 AM
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Piyush Goyal confident Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project will be ready one year before schedule

Ahead of the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, railway minister Piyush Goyal on Monday exuded confidence that the project would be completed one year before the schedule.

Goyal said the officials of Japanese and Indian Railways have set the deadline of 2023 but considering the pace of work, the project is likely to be ready by August 15, 2022.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the bullet train project, would be performed on September 14 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the minister said. The ceremony will be held at a stadium near Ahmedabad's Sabarmati railway station. At the same time, foundation stone will be laid for a high-speed railway training centre at Vadodara, where 4,000 staff will initially be trained for the project.

"Country's rail network will be transformed and revolutionised after the advent of bullet train. Railway ministry has opted for Shinkansen technology as it has been a zero-accident train in Japan and I am sure the track record will remain the same in India," Goyal said. The minister added that bullet trains will also boost employment in India in a big way and that in future India will be able to export bullet trains too.

"PM has given directions for a holistic development of the Indian Railways. India's transport sector is all set to change and it is indeed a matter of celebration," Goyal said. According to railway ministry, the bullet train project will generate nearly 15 lakh jobs in India.

The high-speed railway line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to cover 508 kilometers in about two hours; the operating speed for the train will be around 320 kmph. The bullet train is expected to become operational by 2023. 81 per cent of the entire project cost will be in the form of a loan from Japan.

A senior railway board official said that the project has been put in the fast lane by converting it into an elevated corridor. This will save railways the hassles and inordinate delays arising due to land acquisition. An official said railways would now require 825 hectare land as against 1650 hectare with most part of the corridor going elevated.

Railway ministry officials said the training institute at Vadodara will be functional by the end of 2020.The facilities at this institute will be utilized to train about 4,000 staff in next three years, who will then be utilised for operation and maintenance of the bullet train. In addition, 300 young officials of Indian Railways are being trained in Japan to give them exposure in high Speed Track Technology. Keeping in view the long-term plan for human resource development, government of Japan has also offered 20 seats per year for Master's course from the universities of Japan, for serving Indian Railway officials.


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