Dec. 3, 2019

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a “review” of the bullet train project, sending out signals of uncertainty over the prestigious enterprise.

High Speed Railways (HSR):

  • There's no standard definition, but a railway system designed for speeds above 250kmph is generally called high speed.

  • The success of the Shinkansen network of HSR in Japan (which started in 1964), triggered HSR investments in other countries.

Indian scenario:

  • At present, India doesn’t have an HSR. In 2015, India and japan signed an agreement for HSR line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which will be built on Japan’s Shinkansen technology, and is expected to be operational by 2022-23.

  • National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is the body implementing the project.

  • Both Gujarat and Maharashtra own 25% each in the project, while the remaining 50% is owned by the Government of India. The total project cost is around 1 lakh crore. Of this –
    • Government of India is to pay Rs. 10,000 crore to the NHSRCL.

    • The two states involved, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are to pay Rs. 5,000 crore each.

    • The rest is to be paid by Japan through a loan at 0.1 % interest.

  • NHSRCL says it is on course to do a trial run between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in August 2022, and to open the full service to the public around December 2023.