Modi, Abe un­veil first bul­let train project

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -

AHMED­ABAD: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe on Thurs­day launched In­dia’s first bul­let train project be­tween Ahmed­abad and Mum­bai.

Modi de­scribed the am­bi­tious Rs 1.10 lakh crore project, which will cut travel time be­tween the two cities from seven hours to less than three, as a “big gift from Ja­pan to In­dia”.

Ad­dress­ing crowds gath­ered at the Ath­let­ics Sta­dium in Sabar­mati for the event, Abe said the Indo-ja­pan part­ner­ship was spe­cial, strate­gic and global.

“A strong In­dia is in Ja­pan’s in­ter­est and a strong Ja­pan is in In­dia’s in­ter­est,” Abe said af­ter the two lead­ers pressed a but­ton, un­veil­ing a plaque.

“My good friend Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi is a far-sighted leader. He took a de­ci­sion two years ago to bring high-speed train in In­dia and to cre­ate a new In­dia,” he said.

The Ja­panese prime min­is­ter added that he hoped to en­joy the “beau­ti­ful scenery of In­dia through the win­dows of the bul­let train’ when he re­turns in a few years.

Con­grat­u­lat­ing the peo­ple of In­dia, Modi said this was “a bold step to­wards re­al­is­ing an old dream of a bul­let train”.

Laud­ing Ja­pan, he said the coun­try was such a friend that it gave a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at 0.1 per cent in­ter­est for the project.

Modi also took a dig at the op­po­si­tion which had of­ten sounded scep­ti­cal about the bul­let train project.

“When ear­lier I talked about bul­let train, they (op­po­si­tion) used to say it was big talk, and now when it has come they are say­ing what is the need for it,” Modi said.

“Our stress is now on high-speed con­nec­tiv­ity which will im­prove speed, re­duce dis­tance and en­sure eco­nomic progress,” he added.

In 1964, Modi said, Ja­pan started the bul­let train and now this tech­nol­ogy was in 15 coun­tries.

The train project be­tween Ahmed­abad and Mum­bai is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2022. The train would cover the dis­tance of over 500 km in less than three hours.

Ja­pan has ex­tended a soft loan for the am­bi­tious project con­cep­tu­alised by Modi. The project is a joint ven­ture be­tween In­dian Rail­ways and Ja­pan’s Shinkansen Tech­nol­ogy.

The prime min­is­ters of the two coun­tries also laid the foun­da­tion stone for an in­sti­tute that will come up at Vado­dara where around 4,000 peo­ple will be trained for the bul­let train project.

Rail­way Min­is­ter Piyush Goyal, Gu­jarat Chief Min­is­ter Vi­jay Ru­pani and his Maharashtra coun­ter­part Deven­dra Fad­navis were present on the oc­ca­sion.

In­dia and Ja­pan on Thurs­day also inked 15 agree­ments to fur­ther broad­base their strate­gic part­ner­ship and agreed to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in the Indo- Pa­cific re­gion where China is in­creas­ing its as­sertive­ness.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe held wide-rang­ing talks on key bi­lat­eral, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues and dis­cussed ways to deepen ties in trade, se­cu­rity and civil nu­clear energy.

Strongly pitch­ing for a “zero- tol­er­ance” ap­proach to­wards ter­ror­ism, In­dia and Ja­pan agreed to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion against ter­ror groups like Al-qaida and Pak­istan-based Jaish-e-mo­hammed and Lashkar-e-taiba.

More re­ports in­side


PM Naren­dra Modi with his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe at ground break­ing cer­e­mony of Mum­bai-ahmed­abad High Speed Rail Project

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