Indian, Japanese officials to discuss bullet train project

New Delhi: A high-level delegation led by NITI Ayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya will meet Japanese officials in Tokyo tomorrow to finalise key issues relating the Rs 98,000 crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project.

This is the second meeting of the joint committee set up to execute the bullet train project, according to Railway Ministry.

During the meeting, the committee will finalise the schedule of the project, terms related to the appointment of general consultant and procurement conditions, it said.

Besides Panagariya, the Indian delegation will comprise A K Mital, Chairman Railway Board, Shaktikanta Das, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs, S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary, and Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion.

The Japanese side will be led by Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan. Other members from Japanese side will comprise senior officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and senior officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The flagship project is being financed by JICA, which is providing a soft loan of about Rs 79,380 crore, amounting to 81 per cent of the total project cost.

Since the loan negotiation and finalisation of loan agreement will take some time, the government has requested for a proper schedule of project implementation to achieve timely completion, the railways said in a statement.

India had also requested for appointment of general consultant, will enable start of preparatory activities like designing and preparation of tender documents, before the finalisation of loan agreement.

The government aims to execute the bullet train project under the 'Make in India' initiative.

Since 'Make in India' and 'Transfer of Technology' are key components of the project implementation, an industry interaction between Indian and Japanese companies will be held on May 17 in Japan, it said.

The event will be participated by almost 100 Japanese companies and 21 Indian companies. The industry interaction will enable Indian companies to explore business opportunities in participation with Japanese companies.

Among the Indian companies are BHEL, BEML, IRCON, Reliance Metro, Tata Infrastructure, JBM, Patil Infrastructure, IL$FS, Hindustan Construction Company, Texmaco Rail.

India will get the latest version of Sinkansen, the Japanese bullet train, to cover the 508 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in about two hours at more than 300 km per hour speed.

At present, the fastest train between the two cities takes about seven hours.

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