Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (second from left) and railway minister Dinesh Trivedi (right) at the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. Picture by Prem Singh
New Delhi, Dec. 27: The railway ministry is planning to present a proposal to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tomorrow on high-speed rail networks, or passenger corridors, in the country.
Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi said the railways hoped to tap Japanese technology as the scope for development was immense.
We can have a state of the art railway system if we are able to get the technology of tomorrow. We will present the proposal to the Japanese delegation on these issues tomorrow, he said.
The Indian Railways plans to set up six high-speed networks and has selected a Japanese consortium to explore the possibility of running a bullet train on a proposed Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai route.
Japans bullet trains, called Shinkansen, operate at a speed of up to 300 km per hour and are known for their punctuality, comfort, safety and efficiency.
Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), Oriental Consultancy along with Parsons Brinkhoff India have been selected to conduct the pre-feasibility study on the proposed 664-km route for running the bullet train.
A Spanish consultant Eneco has been hired to carry out a study for the Howrah-Haldia (135 km) route, which is the shortest of the high-speed networks.
Japan is involved in the 1,483-km Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, which will have a dedicated railway freight corridor, for which the island nation is providing a soft loan of Rs 26,465 crore.
The Centre is also exploring the possibility of engaging Japan for the Rs 24,000-crore dedicated eastern freight corridor linking New Delhi to Dankuni near Calcutta, though Japan has not shown much interest in the proposal.
Trivedi said he would like to have high-speed passenger trains between the metropolitan cities as well. We want to reduce the travel time of train passengers. Japanese rail technology will help us to have trains that will cover the distance between New Delhi and Calcutta in a matter of six hours, he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart are likely to discuss a range of issues, including civil nuclear co-operation, high-speed trains and the western freight corridor when they meet here tomorrow, official sources said.
Japan is funding 80 per cent of the construction cost of the 1499-km western dedicated freight corridor.
Noda is also keen on the transfer of technology to India. I am determined to step up the co-operation between the countries in areas such as economics, he said.