Leaders prepare to pull the trigger on India's bullet train

Leaders prepare to pull the trigger on India's bullet train

Piyush Goyal, new Railway Minister has said that the work on India's first high-speed train popularly known as "bullet train" will kick-start on September 14 with a foundation stone laying ceremony in Ahmedabad.

Abe begins a two-day visit on Wednesday, during which he and Modi will hold the 12th India-Japan annual summit in Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

In a packed itinerary, Prime Minister Abe and his host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would arrive in Ahmedabad on Wednesday afternoon and shall visit Mahatma Gandhi's abode Sabarmati Ashram later in the evening.

"The roadshow is scheduled to be held between 4pm to 5pm in which Indian states will display their cultural heritage through traditional dance performances like Bhangra, Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Garba, etc. Students will perform yoga and there will be musical and other cultural programmes as well as part of the cultural roadshow", said Ahmedabad municipal corporation commissioner Mukesh Kumar.

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With parliament in recess, Abe was "able to use the "crisis" in North Korea to monopolize the spotlight by getting the media to portray him as a strong leader", said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University. The 500-km railway link service is expected to start in 2022-a year ahead of what was previously expected. The two leaders have met 10 times in the last three years, with the last being on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Hamburg in July.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHIN'-zoh AH'-bay) said Tuesday in Tokyo that he highly appreciates what he called "a remarkably tough sanctions resolution". The fastest train now operating between Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad Junction is the Duronto Express, which takes approximately 7 hours running non-stop between the two cities at a maximum speed of 120 km/h. The Japanese side is convinced that India, a rising power, will stand for respect for worldwide law and will not tolerate rogue actions, and the special relationship between the two Prime Ministers Modi and Abe ensures that.

Japan is providing 81 percent of the funding for the 1.08-trillion-rupee ($16.9-billion) project, through a 50-year loan at 0.1 percent annual interest. The high-speed train will halt at all ten stations on the proposed high-speed corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, while the rapid high-speed train will halt only at major stations. The stretch will have a 468 km elevated track with 27 km inside the tunnel and the remaining 13 km on the ground.

Moreover, according to The Economic Times, Gujarat has also planned a second Japanese-supported industrial park at Sanand. The two Global leaders are expected to make several agreements during the Japanese PM two-day visit to Ahmedabad. Investments in Gujarat from Japan are also expected to rise in the near future.

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