As New Delhi and Tokyo prepare to begin the construction work on India’s first bullet train corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, China today said that Beijing is pleased to see the infrastructure among the regional countries including the high-speed railway.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang further said that Beijing is ready to promote cooperation with India and other countries for regional development. He also expressed interest in reviving Beijing’s proposal to build high speed railway projects in India.
China has been aggressively marketing its high-speed rail technology abroad and in the past lobbied hard to get the first contract in India. It had taken up a feasibility study for the New Delhi-Chennai corridor but no headway has been made in this regard so far. The Chinese side showed interest in the projects in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe prepared to lay the foundation for India's first bullet train project.
"As to the railway cooperation, it is part of the practical cooperation between India and China. We have reached important consensus in this regard. Relevant competent authorities between the two countries maintained communication and increasing speed of railway in the current projects," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
India and China have worked out a number of cooperative agreements for the development of railways under which the Indian Railways engineers are getting trained in China in heavy hauling.
China is also cooperating with India to set up a rail university. It has also undertaken work to renovate some of the railway stations in India.
China currently has the world's longest high-speed rail network. It has connected most of its cities with high speed trains reducing the travel time drastically.
The Indian government is confident of starting the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train on August 15, 2022 to commemorate the 75th year of India's Independence, a year ahead of its schedule.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has recently said that PM Modi Modi believes that Indian engineers have the capability and our workers have the efficiency to complete it a year earlier.
PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who arrived here on a two-day visit, will on Wednesday lay the foundation stone for the project.
The 508-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed rail Project (Standard Gauge) is estimated to cost Rs 1,10,000 crore on completion. Out of the Rs 1,10,000 crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore. The interest on this loan is minimal at 0.1 per cent and it is to be repaid in 50 years, with a grace period of 15 years.
The project is expected to provide 12-15 lakh jobs. Around 20,000 in construction, 4,000 direct jobs for running the system and around 20,000 indirect jobs.
While covering the 508-km stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the train will stop at 10 stations -- Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand and Sabarmati. The train would take 2 hours and 58 minutes to cover the distance if it took 10 halts, adding that with two halts -- at Surat and Vadodara -- the travelling time would come down to two hours and seven minutes.
The bullet train will run at an average speed of 320 km per hour with a maximum speed of 350 km per hour.