The bullet train project that involves the construction of a 508km-long high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is on track, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has said. Prabhu was talking to Aaj Tak about the work done by the Indian Railways in the past three years. The minister stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project is being carefully monitored by the NITI Aayog, the Finance Ministry and top officials from the Railway.
The minister also stated that the upcoming visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will further accelerate the speed of the project. Abe is expected to visit India later this year. “We are hopeful about gearing up work on the bullet train after the Japanese PM's visit to India later this year,” India Today quoted him as saying.
In December 2016, the railway ministry and National High-Speed Rail Corporation (HNSRC) signed a tripartite pact with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the development of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. The project will be completed at a cost of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore. Japan has agreed to fund 80 per cent of the project through a soft loan of Rs 79,000 crore.
Test drills for the construction of an undersea section of the bullet train corridor have commenced, the Economic Times had reported in February. The construction of the corridor is expected to begin in 2018.