By Subhajit Sankar Dasgupta
In a significant development, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured Japan’s Consul General in Mumbai Fukahori Yasukata of speeding up infrastructure projects like the bullet train, which has been funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The deputy chief minister gave this assurance during his meeting with Yasukata and other Japanese officials on July 20, 2022.
Under the bullet train project, the state government is looking to start trains on a high-speed rail corridor at a speed of 320 kmph. The train will cover the distance of 508 stations and will halt at 12 stations. The bullet train will also reduce the travel time from the current six hours to three hours.
Recently, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the government was confident of achieving the target related to running India’s first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in 2026. Apart from the high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the Japanese company has also funded the Mumbai Metro-3 line and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) projects.
After its completion, MTHL, with a length of 21.8 km, will be the longest sea bridge in India. Along with Yasukata, other senior Japanese officials were also present at the meeting with Fadnavis.
“We discussed JICA-funded projects like Bullet Train, MTHL, and the Metro-3 line. I assured them that this government is committed to fast-tracking all these projects and ensuring timely completion,” Maharashtra deputy CM said on social media.
Earlier on July 14, 2022, Fadnavis had said that the state government has given all required clearance for the speeding up of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. Addressing a press conference, he said that pending issues were due to forest clearances and land acquisition, among others. According to reports, the Shinde government soon after coming to power cleared long pending issues that were related to the project.