The Centre is confident to start the first bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in 2022, a year ahead of its schedule. The effort by the government would be to complete the project by August 15, 2022, a senior official said. Newly appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday was quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “The official deadline set in consultation with the Japanese side is 2023 but we would like to complete it by 2022. The Prime Minister believes the country’s engineers and workmen have it in them to complete the project a year in advance.” Goyal added, “The way the Modi government implements projects, like LED conversion, laying of optical fibre cables, we are confident that it can be done.”
The railways is focussed to start it keeping in view the Independence Day celebrations in the year 2022. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone of the project at a function in Ahmedabad and is likely to mention that in his speech on September 14 while declaring the intent of advancing the completion date, reported the Indian Express. “When the Prime Minister lays the foundation stone for the project on September 14, it will also mark the beginning of the project,” Goyal said.
The 508-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed rail Project (Standard Gauge) is estimated to cost Rs 1,10,000 crore on completion, as per the report by PTI. The project is being financed through a soft loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency with around 80 per cent of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore total cost. Goyal said that it was the goodwill of the PM that was instrumental in India getting such cheap loan from Japan for the bullet train. He also mentioned that this loan was perhaps one of the cheapest in the world for infrastructure financing.