According to Western Railway's 'Pink Book', besides the Centre's contribution, there is also a move to get Rs 5,000 crore from the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat, which own a fourth of equity in the high-speed rail project, in the form of extra-budgetary resources (EBR).
Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project: The Modi government has allotted an amount of Rs 5,600 crore for the country’s first bullet train project for the fiscal year 2020-21. PM Narendra Modi wants to start this ambitious project linking Mumbai with Ahmedabad by the year 2022, to mark India’s 75th year of Independence. According to Western Railway’s ‘Pink Book’, besides the Centre’s contribution, there is also a move to get Rs 5,000 crore from the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat, which own a fourth of equity in the high-speed rail project, in the form of extra-budgetary resources (EBR). In FY20, Maharashtra and Gujarat collectively contributed Rs 1,000 crore in EBR towards the bullet train project, PTI reported.
To execute the project, a soft loan of Rs 1.10 lakh crore has been committed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Indian Railways has a 50% equity stake in the Bullet Train project. The high-speed rail project was launched by PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in September 2018.
Recently, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray likened the high-speed rail project to a white elephant, saying a decision on the bullet train project will be taken once he is convinced that it will boost the state’s industrial development. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project has been facing opposition from farmers and tribals whose lands are to be acquired for the implementation of the corridor. According to Thackeray, the state has to see what is urgent and not take up something because a loan at zero interest or less interest is being granted. He further said that the lands of farmers are acquired for no reason and then they have to look after these white elephants, which is not right.
Currently, Indian Railways’ trains run at a maximum speed of 180 km per hour, and the introduction of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train is expected to mark the country’s shift to an era of high-speed trains that are capable of attaining speeds of up to 350 km per hour.