Indian Govt Signs Loan Agreement with JICA for Bullet Train Funds

The Indian Government signed an agreement, 28 September, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which has agreed to provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of around Rs 5,500 crore (89,547 million Japanese Yen) as Tranche 1 for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project, reported ANI.

Earlier, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) had denied media reports claiming that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has stopped funding for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway – also known as the bullet train corridor between the cities.

“JICA had agreed to provide nearly 80,000 crores for the High-Speed Rail Project, the cost of which was estimated at 1 lakh crore, but so far, only 125 crores has been released,”

The statement further said the agency was committed towards the interests of the affected farmers and added that all necessary steps with regard to submission of various reports ie social impact assessment, environmental impact assessment, and indigenous people plan had already been taken by the Indian side and the reports had already been submitted to JICA.

JICA corroborated the claim. In an email response to Scroll on Wednesday, Vini Sharma from JICA’s India public relations team clarified that they had “not stopped any funds for this project”.

The report quoted Sharma as stating that JICA and the Indian government had signed a loan agreement in September 2017 for 10.4 billion Japanese yen (approximately Rs 673 crore), to be utilized for the construction of a “training institute” for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail.

In September last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had launched the ambitious project entailing a total cost of around Rs 1.10 lakh crore.

Japan is extending a loan of Rs 88,000 crore for the project at a minimal interest of 0.1 percent.

The country’s first bullet train will run at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour, covering the stretch in under three hours.

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