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Bullet Train Project will boost regional economy, help India become self reliant in tech : Vaishnaw

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NEW DELHI : Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday said the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project will have a multiplier effect on the economy and spur development in the entire region bringing more businesses to Maximum City.

There would soon come a time when high-speed rail (HSR) or bullet train projects might become fully indigenous, Vaishnaw said after overseeing a triggered blast in Vikhroli here as part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which is expected to be completed by 2028.

The minister inspected the progress of the terminal station of the corridor at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, which is being constructed with a “depth equaling 10 storeys”. The station will also have provisions for possible vertical expansion of up to 30 storeys, the minister said.

Vikhroli would be the point of entry for a tunnel boring machine to be used for the construction of a seven-km long undersea bridge for the project. The bridge will connect underground stations in Mumbai to the elevated section in Thane. The shaft at the Vikhroli site of the National High Speed Rail Corridor is one among the four to be built for the entire 21-km-long underground stretch of the project.

Responding to a question from Business Standard post the review, the minister said the Centre’s current push for self-reliance would ensure that eventual bullet train projects might not need a foreign technology partner. He did not indicate a timeframe. India does not have indigenous capabilities to build HSR projects, and the Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR (MAHSR) corridor is being built in collaboration with Japan, with an overseas loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The agency is funding 81 per cent of the project, based on the initial cost estimates of Rs 1.08 trillion. On a question of approvals for future bullet train corridors, the minister indicated that a number of initiatives would be taken in the direction of a developed India, but did not respond on specific such corridors.  

Vaishnaw drew parallels with the semi high-speed train technology, which was indigenised through the Vande Bharat train, and said the time-taking process of building infrastructure with foreign partners also entails a lengthy process of technology absorption, which helps to indigenise them in the coming future.


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