India’s Prime Minister Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe jointly launch India’s 1st Bullet Train project

AHMEDABAD: The foundation stone-laying ceremony at the Sabarmati Railway Station jointly by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe official commenced with a grand reception today. The two leaders have been together in all the informal settings for the bullet train function.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe speaking at the launch of the bullet train project, starts his address with a “Namaskar”.

“I’m grateful that Japan got the opportunity to build the first Bullet Train in India. It’s a historic day, a beginning of new chapter. I am extremely happy. Two years ago a decision was taken for this project. India and Japan are key partners,” Abe says.

He speaks about how Japan decided to start a high-speed rail and how the project changed Japan in various ways. More than 100 Japanese engineers are in India for success of this high speed railway project.

He ends his speech saying, “I wish that when I come here next I come with PM Modi in a Shinkansen (Bullet Train).” He ends his speech with a Jai India, Jai Japan.

The two leaders are at the venue where the Bhoomi Puja is being conducted to lay the foundation stone of the project which is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. The train would cover the distance of over 500 km in around two hours. Japan has extended a soft loan for the ambitious project conceptualised by PM Modi.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at the venue. Fadnavis says he is proud that India’s first bullet train will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Prime Minister Modi wants the Bullet Train to start a year ahead of schedule – on 15 August 2022 – when India completes 75 years of independence.

Of the 508-km stretch, 92 per cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent through a tunnel and the rest on the ground. The high speed train will pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under sea.