India-Japan bullet train deal on right track

New Delhi: With Japan offering over one trillion Yen ($8.11 billion) as a loan, the country is expected to bag the contract to construct India’s first bullet train.

Recently, Japan failed to win an Indonesian high-speed rail deal because China provided a $5 billion loan without guarantees.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was slated to visit India this week and would issue a joint statement on the deal, along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Tokyo was given responsibility for the feasibility study for construction of the 505 km corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

The project would begin from 2017 and expected to be completed by 2023.

Talks were scheduled between special adviser of the Japanese PM, India PMO and railway ministry officials in Delhi on the finalization of the terms and conditions of bullet train project.

Japan had fixed 0.5 per cent as the rate of interest for the loan. The loan would be a huge boost for India’s development project as the loan repayment date tenure is 50 years.

Japan’s strategy for providing an easy line of credit was aimed at competing against China. Notably, China was fiercely getting involved with infrastructural development in countries in south Asia.

Earlier, in September, China bagged the contract to conduct the feasibility study on the construction of a high-speed train linking a 1200 km route between Delhi and Mumbai.

Both the bullet train projects are a part of the ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ of high-speed trains covering over 10,000 km track, connecting the four metropolis Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.

Japan aims to complete 80 per cent of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project cost, only if India buys 30 per cent of the raw material which includes locomotives and coaches from Japanese companies.

(From various sources)

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