Modi—Abe historical summit from Wednesday in Gujarat
Ahmedabad : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on September 13-14 for the annual bilateral summit. On the occasion, the two countries are likely to scale up their strategic partnership.
Within hours of his arrival in Ahmedabad Wednesday afternoon, Modi will accompany the Japanese leader to Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s abode. They would also visit the 16th century mosque in the old city – Sidi Saiyad – known for its iconic window filigree work synonymous with Ahmedabad. They would end the day with a dinner and a closed door meeting at a heritage hotel – House of MG – next to the mosque.
On September 14, the two leaders will attend the ground breaking ceremony of the much-awaited bullet train link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at Sabarmati Railway Station.The 508-km-long project to be built with estimated investment of ₹1,08,000 crore will be funded up to 81% by Japan with soft loan of ₹88,000 crore at interest rate of 0.1% with repayment period 50 years.
“It is for the first time in history in India that an infrastructure project is being funded on such favourable terms,” a release issued by the Gujarat government stated, claiming that the entire project would be funded without putting any strain on existing financial resources of the country.
The release stated that the project testing and commissioning date has been advanced from December 2023 to August 2022.
According to the details of the project, the Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail will be passing through two States, Maharashtra 155.642 km and Gujarat 350.530 km and one Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2 km. The double-track project involves 21 km of tunnel with seven km under sea at Thane Creek in Mumbai.
There will be 12 stations catered to, starting from an underground station in Mumbai, while remaining stations at Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati will be elevated.
(Abdul hafiz lakhani is senior journalist based at Ahmadabad, also editor of GUJARAT SIYASAT )