The groundbreaking ceremony for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the bullet train project, will be performed here on September 14 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, officials said today. The groundbreaking ceremony (bhoomi-pujan) for the project, coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 98,000 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 here for three days, starting from September 13. “Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and our PM would arrive in Gujarat on September 13 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 September 15 morning,” the official said. Apart from this project, various 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 here.
The high speed railway line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to cover 508 kilometers in about two hours with an operating speed of around 320 kmph. It is expected to become operational by 2023. Eighty-one per cent 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.