New Delhi: Railways has given green signal to Japan for conducting a detailed study for the proposed 543 km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor, in another step towards implementing the bullet train project. "Japan Internal Cooperation Agency will conduct a feasibility study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor and for this an MoU will be signed soon", said Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar here today. Kumar had gone to Japan on a four-day visit to discuss certain issues including the proposed high speed corridor and modalities of JICA fund for Western DFC project among others. Though RITES and Systra, a French firm, had already carried out the pre-feasibility study of the route, the Japanese study is expected to be a more detailed one exploring the possibility of running train at a speed of 300 km per hour between the two cities. "It will be a detailed study which will examine the funding pattern, alignment, patronage, possible halts, fare structure and other details required for the project. All modalities for the study will be finalised this month so that it can possibly begin next month," Kumar said. The high speed corridor study has to be completed within 18 months and the cost of it will be shared jointly by railways and JICA. Estimated to cost about Rs 63,000 crore, the 534-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad route is expected to be the first corridor to be explored for the Railways ambitious bullet project. Besides Mumbai-Ahmedabad, railways has identified six routes for conducting pre-feasibility study for high speed corridors including Delhi-Agra-Patna, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bangalore-Thiruvanathapuram, Delhi-Amritsar. Considered a key infrastructure project, the Prime Minister's Office is also monitoring the Mumbai Ahmedabad project and has asked railways to constitute a project steering group to examine options for executing it. The project is likely to be executed on PPP model where state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat are expected to be stakeholders along with railways. PTI
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