Bullet Train Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Sister City Partnership: LoI shared between Ahmedabad and Kobe

A Letter of Intent (LoI) was exchanged between Ahmedabad and Japanese city of Kobe for a sister city partnership. The LoI was exchanged in presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Kobe to address a large Indian diaspora event.

Key Highlights

Authorities from Japanese city of Kobe exchanged Letter of Intent (LoI) with their counterparts in Ahmedabad for Ahmedabad-Kobe Sister City Partnership.

This development will further pave the way for an enhanced economic relationship as well as a cultural exchange between two vibrant cities as well as between India and Japan.

Background

In November 2016, PM Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe inked a sister-state relationship Memorandum of Understanding for Gujarat and Hyogo prefecture, a Japanese prefecture in Kansai region of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Kobe is capital city of Hyogo. During his visit, Modi had also visited a bullet train plant in Kobe.

MoU then signed was sought to promote mutual cooperation between Gujarat and Hyogo in fields of academics, cultural cooperation, business, environmental protection and disaster management.

What is a sister city?

The sister cities or twin towns concept is a legal and social agreement between towns, cities, oblasts, counties, provinces, prefectures, states, regions between two different countries to promote cultural as well as commercial ties.

This plan was conceived after World War II ended so as to promote peaceful coexistence and to encourage trade and tourism.

In diplomacy, the concept of sister cities is seen as a way for enhancing strategic ties between two nations, both cultural and economic.

India has signed sister city agreements with: China, Australia, United States, South Korea (RoK), Russia, Canada, Germany, Belarus, Mauritius, Hungary, Jordan, Bangladesh, Lithuania and Portugal.

India-Japan Relation

In India there is no such part where Japan’s projects or investments have not left its mark in similar manner, talent and manpower of India are also contributing towards strengthening Japan. This partnership has risen from a time when both countries collaborated in building cars and are collaborating in building a bullet train.

India is also planning to run its 1st bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad with the help of Japan. The first stretch of ambitious project is expected to be completed by 2022.

PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe lay foundation stone for bullet train

Foundation stone of India’s first high-speed rail project (bullet train) project was jointly laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Sabarmati Station ground in Ahmedabad.

The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022 (It was recently advanced by year from earlier deadline of 2023).

Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project

MAHSR project is joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan’s Shinkansen Technology.

Speed: The train will cover distance of over 508 km from Sabarmati (Gujarat) to Bandra (Mumbai, Maharashtra) in around 2.58 hours at high speed of 320 kph from the existing 7-8 hours. In case of rapid high-speed, it will cover the distance in 2.07 hours.

Stations: On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, 12 stations have been proposed: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

Route: For most of its route — 471 km out of 508 km, train will run at elevation of 18 metres — primarily to ensure it travels over the existing railway route. The remaining 37 km includes 7 km undersea stretch between Thane and Vasai and 15 km underground route in Mumbai. It will be India’s longest tunnel (around 21-km-long) – that will be dug between Boisar and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

Funding: Of the total project cost of Rs.1,10,000-crore, 80% cost of Rs 88,000 crore will be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as soft loan at interest of 0.1% per annum. This loan will be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.

Make In India: As per agreement between India and Japan, MAHSR Project has “twin, complementary objectives viz. localised manufacture and transfer of technology. It will give stimulus for advanced components’ manufacture and construction, one of the stated objectives of the project is Make in India. It will create around 15 lakh new jobs in India.

High Speed Rail Institute

Both leaders also laid foundation stone of High Speed Rail Institute to be set up at Vadodara (Gujarat). This institue will come up inside National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara where more than 4000 enginees of High Speed Rail Corporation of India will be given training by Japanese professionals.

India’s second bullet train project

The Indian Railways will launch country’s second high-speed train project between Delhi and Amritsar (Punjab) via Chandigarh. The project will be completed by 2024. Train on this route will run on standard broad gauge and cover 458-km-long route in 2 hours and 30 minutes running at a speed of 300-350 kmph, reducing travel time by about two and half hours between both destinations. Proposed stops on this route are Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar.