Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, is currently undertaking a five-day visit to Japan, aimed at strengthening partnerships for several big-ticket infrastructure ventures within the state.
Positioning Maharashtra as a prime choice to entice Japanese investors, the Deputy CM expressed that the state is eager to establish partnerships with Japan across a wide array of industries — infrastructure, education, and healthcare, reports Indian Express.
While on his visit, Fadnavis also travelled on the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, underscoring the importance of establishing faster transportation networks in India.
“It was an exciting journey. I got to experience speed, precision and discipline,” he said.
India-Japan Collaboration For Bullet Train
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) is currently implementing India's first bullet train project — connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Prime Minister Modi and late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone for the bullet train project in Ahmedabad back in September 2017.
The funding for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail (MAHSR) is being provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In addition to this, a team of Japanese experts will also be imparting training to 1,000 Indian engineers before the commencement of work on the track system.
At present, at least 13 middle management officers from the operations and maintenance department of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) are currently undergoing 'on-the-job training' in Japanese Shinkansen technology for the MAHSR corridor. (more on this)
These officers, representing various technical departments, will play a crucial role in managing and operating India's first high-speed rail corridor.
Japanese Cooperation For State's Infrastructure Projects
Fadnavis' trip marks a new chapter to enhance the collaborations and cooperation between Maharashtra and Japan.
The deputy CM is joined by representatives from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the state government's industries department.
The visit includes meetings with officials from JICA, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRA), and JERA, which is Japan's largest power generation company. These interactions aim to facilitate investments for various projects within Maharashtra, as per reports.
Previously, Fadnavis had undertaken a similar five-day journey to Japan during his tenure as chief minister in September 2015.
Subsequent to his visit, JICA extended investments to support several crucial infrastructure initiatives in Maharashtra.
In addition to backing the high-speed rail project, JICA's financial support is also directed towards the Mumbai Metro-3 line and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) project.
As the current visit continues, the MMRDA is expected to explore investment opportunities with JICA for several projects.
These include initiatives like the proposed dual tunnels beneath the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the Versova-Virar Sea Link, and the Thane coastal road project.
The deputy CM is also expected to discuss the proposed Nagpur-Goa expressway and potential investments with Japanese corporations such as Sumitomo Corporation, NTT, and Sony.
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