World - - Feb 23,2017
Geo-investigation work for the $14.6 billion bullet train project in India, funded by Japan, has started.
This 508 KM bullet train project is the most ambitious project till date in the country. A 70-meters deep drilling in Arabian Sea has started on the undersea stretch to determine if the soil and rock are stable enough to bear the load capacity.
The bullet rail line will be between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the two most prominent cities in Western India. The stretch of 508 km is expected to be covered in two hours by operating at an average speed of 320 kmph and a maximum speed of 350 kmph. The corridor will cover 12 stations.
Out of the 508 km, 21 km will be underground, including a stretch of 7 km undersea. The undersea rail line will be around 70 meters deep and rest of the rail line will be elevated to preserve the surrounding ecosystem and also avoid the land acquisition problems.
The construction work of the project will start in 2018 and is expected to be operational by 2023. Estimated cost of the project is about $14.6 billion and it is not as expensive as some other bullet train projects like California would be spending $64 billion on its Los Angeles-san Francisco bullet train project and The UK would be spending about $68.6 billion on their bullet train project.
From the total project cost, 81 per cent of the financing will come by a loan from Japan with a nominal interest rate of 1 percent. Much of the support and technology will be provided by Japan. This move of Japan is seen by some as a step to counter the growing China’s investments in the Asian region.
China has big investment projects underway in Pakistan, India and Thailand. In India, China has already been awarded a contract to assess the feasibility of a high-speed railway line between Delhi and Mumbai.