After Japan and China, now France on queue in Ahmedabad

By    Abdul    Hafiz Lakhani       Ahmedabad

After Japan and China, now France has jumped to acquire one of the most talked project of Ahmedabad –Mumbai Bullet train. Recently the much-awaited business model study report of the proposed bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai has been submitted by the French Rail Company to the railways.

Though this is a very old project. When PM Modi was CM in Gujarat for so many years, it was in the air. But it looks that it has got wings and it will see the light of the day. Gujarat New CM Anandiben patel is very much keen to see this project well- implemented before next State Assembly election in Gujarat which may take placein  2017

The comprehensive report has given recommendation on financial model to execute the dream bullet train project, which is expected to cost in excess of Rs 63,000 crores. “The business model report on bullet train is being examined by the Rail Board, which was given a presentation on its various aspects. The presentation is inconclusive and the Rail Board will sit again to thoroughly examine the report,” said a senior official.

India had commissioned two studies on the proposed bullet train (high speed rail corridor) between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, which included the comprehensive business model and the feasibility study being done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is likely to submit its report early next year.

The report by the French Rail Company has also reportedly dwelt on fare structure and financial feasibility besides the other revenue model to make the project financially viable. “It’s too early to share the details, as the Rail Board is trying to understand the recommendations first,” added the official.

However, it’s estimated that the fare in the proposed bullet train would be on the higher side, with some rough suggestions pegging it at close to Rs 4,000 for one way travel. While the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train will take about two hours to complete its journey, the report is said to have proposed premium and economy class on the lines of the airlines. Also, the railways may have to tap the land development and could examine the possibility of an industrial corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to make the bullet train project feasible.

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