India, Japan Commit Cooperation on HSR Projects

Japan, a pioneer in bullet train operations, today committed to "work closely" with the Indian government in its proposed high speed projects in the country.

An extensive deliberation was held in this regard between visiting Japanese Minister for Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Takeshi Maeda and Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, according to Railway sources.

Trivedi is understood to have said that there is an increasing demand for high speed trains in the country in view of its growing economy as well as the demand from a larger section which aspires such service.

The Japanese minister is believed to have assured his country's support and expressed desire to work closely with India which has identified six high speed corridors in the country, sources said.

Maede led a delegation which included senior deputy DG of Japan's Railway Bureau Akhihiko Tamura, President, East Japan Railway Company Satoshi Seino, chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industry Tadaharu Ohashi and Ambassador of Japan to India Akitaka Saiki among others.

The meeting was also attended by the Railway Board Members led by its chairman Vinay Mittal.

Japan's External Trade Organisation and Oriental Consultancy along with Parsons Brinkhoff India has bagged the contract to conduct pre-feasibility study of the Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai corridor, one of the six corridors identified by Indian Railways for high speed train operations.

Railways has already announced to set up a National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA), the approval of which is expected to be placed before the Union Cabinet this year. (MORE) PTI SGI ZMN 01122101

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