New Delhi: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor would be completed by 2023-24.
Replying to a question during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Prabhu said that the joint feasibility study for the high speed bullet train project has already been conducted by the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA).
“Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project has been sanctioned with technical and financial assistance from government of Japan. Joint feasibility study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project has already been done by JICA," Prabhu informed Parliament.
“On the basis of negotiations held with government of Japan and JICA, government of India has sanctioned Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train project with financial and technical assistance from government of Japan for commissioning targeted in 2023-24,” the minister said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
According to the minister, the journey on the 508-kms high speed rail corridor will be completed in 2.07 hours with the trains running at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour and an operating speed of 320 km per hour.
Currently, the fast passenger train in service with the Indian Railways -- Duronto -- covers the same distance between Mumbai-Ahmedabad in seven hours.
Prabhu elaborated that the Japanese government will finance 81 per cent of the project cost of Rs 97,636 crore with an interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum, to be repaid in 50 years with 15 years of moratorium.
In the last session of Parliament, the minister informed that the fares of the upcoming Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train service will be 1.5 times higher than the first class AC fare prevailing now.
In Duronto Express, for example, the current AC 1st Class fare between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is Rs.2,200. This means, for the 508-km run between the two cities -- via a dedicated, high-speed corridor -- the fare will be around Rs.3,300.
The ministry expects around 36,000 daily users per day both ways by 2023, going up to 186,000 by 2053.
The ministry has planned a total of 12 stations for the train -- Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.