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Laying Foundation Stone For Bullet Train, PM Modi Thanks PM Shinzo Abe For 'Gift From Japan'

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| September 14 , 2017 , 12:11 IST

Marking a historic day in the evolution of public transport in India, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the very first Bullet Train network in India, which would travel from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

Prime Minister Abe began his speech with 'Namastey' and said, "I really like Gujarat and I really like India. I will do whatever I can do for India. If we were to merge Japan's 'Ja' and India's 'I', it becomes 'Jai'. If we work together, nothing is impossible. PM Modi and I will work towards realising Jai Japan, Jai India."

He continued, "The Japanese engineers are working day and night to ensure the success of this project. If Indian and Japanese people combine their efforts, there is nothing which cannot be achieved."

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Describing the bullet train service in Japan, which is called 'Shinkansen' Abe said, "Since the Shinkansen service was started in Japan, no disaster has been reported. And I can proudly say that it is the safest mode of transport available."

Prime Minister Modi thanked the support of PM Abe.

" Thank my friend Shinzo Abe, he took personal interest and assured that there should be no glitches in the project. If one says take loan and return it in 50 yrs, is it believable? But Japan is such a friend, they gave us loan of 88,000 cr at 0.1% interest," said PM Modi.

"If technology is used to empower the poor we can win the fight against poverty. Now next generation growth will happen at places where there are high speed corridors," he added.

"Our railway network is so huge that number of people travelling in trains every week in India is equal to Japan's total population," said the PM.

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"On 75 yrs on India's independence around the year 2022-23, wish that both PM Shinzo Abe and I inaugurate the Bullet Train," PM Modi said.

Hailing the multiple benefits of the bullet train, Railways minister Piyush Goyal said, "People will get employment opportunities with this project and it will bring important changes in the country. This bullet train will be a symbol of brotherhood between people of India and Japan."

The bullet train is being constructed for a distance of 508 km on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, which will have a total of 12 stations, including Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati.

With a capacity of 750 persons, the bullet train will reduce the travel time between the two cities down to 3 hours from the current 7.