In the presence of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan, Shri Shinzo Abe, Ceremony for Commencement of Work for First High Speed Train Project (popularly referred as Bullet Train) between Mumbai Ahmedabad to take place on 14th September 2017. The bullet train project will generate nearly 15 lakh jobs in India, says the Railway Ministry.
NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal briefed media about Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Train Project (popularly referred to as Bullet Train project) in Rail Bhavan i.e. 11th September 2017. Minister of State for Railways & Minister of Communication (I/c), Shri Manoj Sinha was also present to brief the media. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Ashwani Lohani and other board members were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The commencement of work on the Country’s First High Speed (Bullet train) will begin on 14th September, 2017 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The groundbreaking ceremony shall be held in the presence of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan, Shri Shinzo Abe. This would be a historic moment as India will gets it first bullet train.
It was envisioned by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to take Indian Railways towards most modern technologies like developed countries. This bullet train is an endeavour to bring economic growth & prosperity in the country with the growth of Indian Railways adopting most modern technologies. New Shinkansen Technology by the Japanese shall ensure more growth opportunities. The cost will go down further as the technology will grow massively and it will be developed under Make in India. The financial assistance given by Japan is at a minimal interest and will not be a burden as it will be paid after 50 years at a minimal interest. This technology will revolutionize and transform the transport sector of India. This is an occasion to celebrate the advent of the most modern technology in India. It shall also benefit the farmers for transportation of agricultural produce in a fast mode.”
This Mumbai–Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project (popularly known as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train) is a visionary project which will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people and help Indian Railways become an international leader in scale, speed and skill.
Low cost of the project:
The 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project would be made in an estimated cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore with a loan of Rs 88,000 crore from Japan. The interest on this loan would be as low as 0.1%. The loan would be given back within 50 years. Piyush Goyal told reporters that the grace period of another 15 years has also been given by Japan.
- Major portions of large scale infrastructure projects are financed by debt, and the cost of debt is a significant portion of the total costs. As a part of cooperation agreement between India and Japan, Government of Japan will provide a soft loan of about Rs. 88,000 crore at miniscule interest rate of 0.1%. The repayment period of the loan is 50 years.Repayment of loan is to begin after 15 years of receiving the loan, making it practically free since, this loan interest works out to roughly Rs. 7-8 crore per month.
- Generally, any such loan even from World Bank or such other agencies costs about 5-7% with a repayment period of 25-35 years, thus India is getting loan for the High-Speed Rail Project at almost zero cost without putting any strain on existing financial resources available with the country, as more than 80% of the project cost is being funded by Government of Japan. Clearly Peter is not paying for Paul.
- It is for the first time in the history of the country that an infrastructure project is being funded on such favourable terms.
Make in India:
- One of the prime objectives of the project is “Make in India”, which is to be realized before commissioning of the project.
- As per the agreement between Governments, the MAHSR Project has “Make in India” & “Transfer of technology” objectives.Under the guidance of task force (DIPP and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)), action is being taken as per accepted concept paper guidelines.
- Four sub-groups with representatives from Indian industry, Japanese industry, DIPP, NHSRCL & JETRO to identify potential items & sub-systems for make in India.
- Active interactions are already taking place between the industries of India and Japan. It is expected that many joint ventures will be formed in the time to come to take up manufacturing of various components including rolling stock. This will not only benefit the Indian Industry with new technology but will also create several job opportunities within the country.
- The Make in India objective will also ensure that most of the amount invested in this project would be spent and utilized within India.
- The construction sector in India will also get a big boost not only in terms of investment but also with respect to new technology and work culture.
- This project is likely to generate employment for about 20,000 workers during the construction phase, who will be trained specially to take up construction of such projects in India. Some of the new areas where construction skills would be developed are ballast-less track, under sea tunnel etc.
- A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed at Vadodara. This institute will be fully equipped with equipment and facilities such as simulator etc. as are existing in the training institute at Japan. This institute 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 ensuring that this work is through skilled people in India rather than foreign dependent. They will also serve as a backbone for future development of other High Speed Corridors in India.
- 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. This programme is fully funded by Government of Japan.
Cutting-edge versus Catch-up Technology:
- Unlike other areas,for high speed, country is getting a cutting-edge technology in totality. The Shinkansen Technology is known for its reliability and safety and is proven for more than 50 years. The train delay record of Shinkansen is less than a minute with zero fatality.
- Thus,the project is set to provide reliable and comfortable service with high standards of safety. The technology regarding disaster predictions and preventions will also be acquired as a part of the project. Such safety systems ensure that the train operation safety is maintained in case of any natural calamity such as earthquake etc.
- With the presence and availability of this technology, India will be leapfrog to the cutting edge of latest train developments with passengers able to reach their destination in 2 hours as against the current 7-8 hours by train.
- As the engineering staff learns the latest technology it will also help in developing the same in India
- Keeping this scale-up in mind, there are other high speed corridors which are being reviewed – Delhi Kolkata, Delhi Mumbai, Mumbai Chennai, Delhi-Chandigarh, Mumbai-Nagpur, Delhi- Nagpur. All these corridors will also be able to operate high speed trains in the future. For this, the Ministry of Railways has constituted the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, which is also implementing this MAHSR project.
Salient Features of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project:
- HSR: Defined as Railway Systems Running Trains at Speeds in excess of 250 kmph. Presently, available in 15 countries
- India was a lone exception among major passenger railway systems not to have one
- Feasibility study undertaken by Japanese Consultants in December 2013 and report submitted in July 2015
- Recommendation of Empowered Committee for Innovative Collaborations (Chaired by Vice Chairman,NITI Aayog) and sanction by Cabinet in December, 2015.
- Planned completion by December 2023
- All-out efforts will be made to complete it by 15th August 2022
- Length 508 KMs (approx.), doubleline through two states, Maharashtra (156 KMs) and Gujarat (351 KMs) and UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (2 KMs).
- Longest tunnel 21 KM switch 7 KMs undersea (Thane Creek).
- 12 stations: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara,Anand, Ahmedabad,Sabarmati. Underground station Mumbai, all others elevated.
- Maximum Design Speed – 350 kmph;
- Maximum Operating speed of 320 kmph.
- Journey Time: 2.07 Hrs (limited stops), 2.58hrs (stopping at stations) vis-à-vis existing train travel time of 7-8 hours
Low Cost, High Speed:
- Cost estimated at Rs.1,08,000 crore-entire corridor elevated for safety and land economy.
- 81% of the project cost by Japanese soft loan at 0.1%per annum with repayment period 50 years–including grace period of 15 years.
- Project funded by a loan on terms which tantamount to a grant.
- First time in India that an infrastructure project is being funded under such favourable terms
“Make in India”
- As per the agreement between Governments,the MAHAR Project has “Make in India” & “Transfer of technology” objectives.
- Under The Guidance Of Taskforce (DIPP and JETRO), accepted concept paper action is being taken as per guidelines
- Four Sub-groups with representatives from Indian industry, Japanese Industry, DIPP, NHSRCL, JETRO to identify potential items /subsystems / activities for make in India.
- Four Subgroups-Track,Civil,Rolling Stock,Electrical and S&T
Best tech available to India:
- Will launch Indian Railways to be select club of countries having the state of the art technology.
- Shinkansen Technology Known for reliability and safety with proven track record of more than 50 years
- Punctuality record is less than a minute with zero fatality
- Reliable and comfortable services
- Project Comes with technical support and handholding of the Japanese–will ensure complete transfer of know-how to Indians for future projects
- High Speed Rail Training Institute at Vadodara to train 4,000 staff for operations and maintenance
Boost to Economy & Employment
- 20,000 construction jobs
- 4,000direct employment for operations and 20,000 indirect jobs too
- Boost To Urban And Industrial Development Along The corridor
- Ease Of Travel Between Cities And Enormous Capacity for commuting
- Capacity building for other high speed projects
Ground Breaking Ceremony:
- Project Commencement function is Sabarmati on 14.09.2017 by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister and H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
- Will mark the commencement of the Project and laying of foundation stone for the High Speed training Institute at Vadodara
Project Status: Major progress made
- National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, incorporated with equity by Ministry of Railways, Governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra in February 2016.
- General Consultant (GC) & Environment Consultant appointed.
- Schedule of Dimensions (SOD) and Manual of Standards and Specifications for track, tunnels, bridges, Signalling, Telecom and OCC finalised.
- Ground Survey completed using Aerial LiDAR Technique.
- Geotechnical Investigations substantially completed.
- Social Impact Assessment (SIA) consultant for Gujarat and Maharashtra appointed.
- Land acquisition- ROW requirement is under finalisation.
Number of Rides:
The train will make 70 Ahmedabad-Mumbai rides. Reportedly, a total of 24 high-speed trains will be imported from Japan and then rest of the rakes will be manufactured in India. Also, the officials stated that the reason behind giving this project to Japan is that the nations has been running the trains since many years without a single accident that ever happened on its bulet trains.