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State govt. to provide 25% share in bullet train SPV

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Modi, Japanese PM Sto lay project’s foundation stone in Gujarat

Mumbai: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe’s visit, the State government on Tuesday gave its approval to participating in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR), also known as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train. The decision was approved by the State Cabinet on September 9. This includes the use of 0.9 hectare of land at BKC for a bullet train terminal, and inclusion of land cost in the SPV share.

The SPV, with a paid-up capital of ₹500 crore, is being called the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited. Maharashtra and Gujarat will each have 25% equity in the SPV. The State government will contribute ₹5,000 crore of the ₹20,000 crore jointly proposed for the SPV by the Union Rail Ministry and the State governments. The first instalment of ₹124 crore has been approved, officers with the State Home Department’s transport section said. Alternative options for station locations in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Dharavi have been proposed to the Centre, they added.

The construction of the station or commercial structure will not be borne by the State government, funding agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has said. It has agreed to finance 81% of the ₹98,000-crore project with a soft loan of ₹79,380 crore for 15 years.

Both PMs are likely to lay the foundation stone for the project this week in Gujarat. The train, with a capacity for 750 passengers, will travel at speeds between 320 km/hr and 350km/hr and is expected to reduce travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to three-and-a-half hours or less from the present eight. The project is expected to be completed in seven years.

“Of the 508 km, about 120 km falls in Maharashtra. Four of the 12 proposed stations will be in the State, including Thane, Vasai-Virar, Boisar-Tarapur-Palghar and BKC. This will boost business and industry in their vicinity,” government officers said. They added that the latest technology, assisting infrastructure and environmental elements will help boost industrial growth, and the project is necessary to develop Mumbai as an international hub.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 4:02:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/state-govt-to-provide-25-share-in-bullet-train-spv/article19673065.ece

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