The groundbreaking ceremony for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the bullet train project, will be performed in Ahmedabad on 14 September by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, officials said on Wednesday.
The groundbreaking ceremony (bhoomi-pujan) for the project, coming up at an estimated cost of Rs98,000 crore, will be held at a ground near the Sabarmati railway station in the city, said a senior government official. Both the leaders are expected to stay in Ahmedabad for three days, starting from 13 September.
“Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and our PM would arrive in Gujarat on 13 September afternoon. The next morning, they would attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the high speed rail project at the Sabarmati railway station. Both of them are expected to leave on 15 September morning,” the official said.
Apart from this project, various memorandums of understanding (MoUs) related to investments and tie-ups will also be signed in the presence of these leaders, the official said, adding that bilateral talks will also be held between the two.
The high speed railway line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to cover 508kms in about two hours with an operating speed of around 320kmph. It is expected to become operational by 2023. About 81% of the project cost will be in the form of a loan from Japan.
As per the detailed project report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while most part of the corridor is proposed to be on the elevated track, there will be a stretch after Thane creek towards Virar which will go under the sea.
Last year, when Modi visited Japan in November, it was announced through a joint statement that the construction will commence by the end of 2018, while the groundbreaking ceremony will be held in 2017.