By Ananya Sengupta
Fukuoka (Japan), Nov 9 (PTI) Japan is committed to making the ambitious bullet train project in India a reality as soon as possible, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday as he lauded his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi's "deep desire" and
efforts to bring high speed railway network to India.
Japan is funding 80 per cent of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project through a soft loan of Rs 79,000 crore at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent, with a tenure stretching over 50 years and a moratorium period of 15 years.
"In September last year, I took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new high speed rail service in India. I was struck by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's deep desire to provide inspiration to the people of India and by the Indian people's high hopes for high speed rail services," Abe said in a video message to a high speed rail association conference being held here.
"The Shinkansen has played an important role in supporting the development of our nation's economy and the quality of life of our people, and in the near future, we look forward to the Shinkansen crossing the seas and also beginning to speed across the Indian continent. Our government and the related companies are dedicated to making the Indian Shinkansen a reality as soon as possible," he said.
Modi who visited Japan last month reviewed the progress made in the project and the two leaders also signed the Exchange of Notes for yen loan, on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor has been plagued by land acquisition issues, but the National High Speed Rail Corporation which is implementing the project is sticking to the deadline for a 2022 launch of the project in time for India's 75th Independence Day.
The bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will run a total length of 508 kilometres, of which 21 kilometres will be covered in the tunnel under sea.
The day when Japanese Shinkansen bullet trains start running between Mumbai and Ahmedabad through cooperation will mark a shining symbol of Japan-india friendship in the future, Abe said on October 28, on the day of the two leaders' summit meeting.
Modi visited Japan to attend the 13th India-Japan annual summit. PTI ASG MRJ