Modi, Abe flag off bul­let train project, ink 15 pacts

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Hi­ral Dave hi­ral.dave@hin­dus­tan­times.com

EYE ON CHINA Ja­pan’s PM calls for greater role for both na­tions in re­gion

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe on Thurs­day laid the foun­da­tion of In­dia’s first high speed rail project, link­ing the coun­try’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal Mum­bai to Ahmedabad, the main city in Modi’s home state Gu­jarat.

The ₹1,10,000-crore­pro­ject– pop­u­larly called the bul­let train – aims to mod­ernise the coun­try’s vast colo­nial-era rail net­works.

Modi said the project will “bring speed with safety” to rail op­er­a­tions be­sides contributing to the coun­try’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by gen­er­at­ing jobs.

The high speed rail pro­jects con­sti­tute a part of the “New In­dia” plan, the Prime Min­is­ter said, adding the NDA gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach would be to bring “more pro­duc­tiv­ity through high speed con­nec­tiv­ity”.

The two prime min­is­ters also launched, through video con­fer­enc­ing, con­struc­tion work for a high speed train­ing in­sti­tute at Vado­dara to train tech­ni­cians in op­er­at­ing the high-speed track tech­nol­ogy.

An agree­ment for the high­speed project, a joint ven­ture be­tween In­dian Rail­ways and Ja­pan’s Shinkansen Tech­nol­ogy, was first signed in May 2013 by then Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh, dur­ing his visit to Tokyo.

In­dia and Ja­pan on Thurs­day signed 15 agree­ments to broad­base ties be­tween the two coun­tries and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, where China is in­creas­ingly get as­sertive.

With Modi be­side him, Ja­panese pre­miere Abe called for a greater role for Ja­pan and In­dia to keep “democ­racy and rule of law” in­tact in the re­gion.

“Our ties now lead the global sys­tem based on the rules of In­dian and Pa­cific oceans and has de­vel­oped into a spe­cial strate­gic and global part­ner­ship,” Abe said at the groundbreaking cer­e­mony for the bul­let train project.

Bei­jing’s naval ex­pan­sion has both In­dia and Ja­pan wor­ried.

CON­TIN­UED ON P 5

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe at the ground break­ing cer­e­mony for the Mum­baiAhmed­abad high speed rail project in Ahmedabad on Thurs­day

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