Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a loan agreement with the Centre to provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan of about Rs 22,627 crore or 100 billion Japanese Yen as the fifth tranche for the construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR).
It is the largest amount committed through a single project loan agreement in the history of JICA, across the globe, said the Japanese agency.
“The objective of the project is to develop a high-frequency mass transportation system by constructing a high-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, using Japan’s Shinkansen technology (also known as the bullet train), thereby enhancing mobility in India and contributing to regional economic development,” JICA said in a statement on Monday.
JICA has been supporting the MAHSR project by providing ODA loans with a cumulative commitment amount of Japanese Yen 1 trillion (Rs. 59,396 crore) since 2017. The agency is slated to fund about 88 per cent of the financing requirement of the MHASR project, which has an estimated cost of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.
As part of the ODA assistance, JICA has extended a loan of 300 billion yen (around Rs 18,750 crore) as tranche 4 in March 2023, 100 billion yen (approx. INR 6,000 Crore) as tranche 3 in July 2022, Rs 9,600 crore as the tranche 2 in November 2018 and 89.54 billion (around Rs 5,500 crore) as tranche 1 in September 2018.
Apart from financial aid, JICA also provides technical assistance including feasibility study, basic and detailed design, trainings in Japan, station area development technical cooperation project, and dispatch of Japanese Shinkansen experts to the executing agency of MAHSR project, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) is currently the only sanctioned high-speed rail in the country.
The high-speed rail operating at 320 km per hour will traverse along west India’s landscape, covering 508.17 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in just about two hours. This will save time compared to current travel time between the two terminal stations by about nine hours (by bus) or six hours (by conventional railways).
The country’s first ‘bullet’ train, a nickname the train gets from its bullet-like shape and speed, will pass through Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Maharashtra, with 12 stations en route.
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