Fast-tracking implementation of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, the Centre has set up a high-level panel headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya to sort out bilateral issues with a similar committee set up by Japan.
“The government has set up a committee headed by Arvind Panagariya to sort out all issues related to implementation of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project with a similar panel constituted by Japan,” a senior official told PTI.
The panel comprises the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the Economic Affairs Secretary and the Railway Board Chairman.
The official further said, “This panel will discuss all types of bilateral issues related to the first bullet train project of the country, including funding and regulatory matters for removing all hindrances to ensure smooth implementation.”
The schedule for the first meeting of the panel will be decided next week. A decision on whether the Panagariya panel will visit Japan or vice versa is likely.
Earlier, the project was examined by a committee on innovative collaborations head by Panagariya, whose mandate is to vet projects worth Rs 2,000 crore and above.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train was the first project appraised by the committee.
Earlier last month, India and Japan signed agreement for building first bullet train network between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a cost of about Rs 98,000 crore.
The bullet train network will link India’s financial hub with Ahmedabad, the capital of Modi’s home state Gujarat. The high-speed train service between the two cities will cut down travel time on the 505-kilometre route to around three hours from the current eight.