JICA submits final report on bullet train project
New Delhi: The Japan International Cooperation Agency today submitted the final report on the feasibility study of the proposed high-speed rail system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route to the Railway Minister, estimating the ambitious project would cost Rs 988,050 million.
The bullet train aims to reduce the travel time on the 505-km long corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to two hours from the existing more than seven hours.
Japanese Ambassador to India Takeshi Yagi led the official JICA delegation for submitting of the report to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu here.
The report estimates that the country’s first bullet train running over 300 km per hour will cost Rs 988,050 million. It also suggested that its fare would be higher fare than that of the First AC of Rajdhani Express, said a senior ministry official involved with the project.
The final report submitted by the Japanese envoy assumes significance as the bullet train is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project.
Railways will examine the report and decide the future course of action, the official said.
As a follow-up action, a Cabinet note seeking approval for the project with an outline of the project feasibility and timelines is likely to be prepared next month.
If work begins in 2017, the line can be completed in 2023 and made operational in 2024.
After the study of the financial feasibility of the line, the final report suggests the fare of the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad may be somewhere around one and half times more than the fare of the first AC of Rajdhani Express and it would be around Rs 2,800.
It is estimated that by 2023 around 40,000 passengers are expected to avail this service everyday and accordingly it would be a financially viable service.
Besides JICA, SNFC of France has already carried out a feasibility study of the route and has submitted the business model to the ministry.