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Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail: JICA to help develop areas surrounding stations

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will help Indian experts develop areas surrounding the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor stations to enhance commuter accessibility and promote economic activities, the company said Wednesday.

JICA, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Ministry of Railways have signed a Record of Discussions for “Project for Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project” with the objective to enhance the capacities of both Maharashtra and Gujarat state governments, municipal corporations, urban development authorities and National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, it said.

“This project is a technical cooperation project to plan development of surrounding areas around MAHSR stations in order to enhance accessibility and convenience of commuters and other stakeholders and to promote economic activities,” JICA said in a statement.

The MAHSR project will cover 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and will have 12 stations located at Mumbai (BKC), Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

In the joint project, Japanese experts will be dispatched to India for assisting Indian counterparts to frame the modalities for the transit function of stations and station area development.

It is based on the concept of ‘transit-oriented development’ and is envisaged to promote urban and transport infrastructure development, including the access road and station plaza.

Especially, Japanese experts will support in preparing station area development plans for four stations namely Thane, Virar, Surat and Sabarmati as model stations, including revision of macro level or higher level urban plans, the statement said.

Saito Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, said, “MAHSR project is a symbol of Japan-India collaboration, contributing to India’s first high speed rail project by introducing Japanese technology.

“Under MAHSR project, Indian contractors will have a technology transfer opportunity from Japan not only for high speed rail construction and O&M aspect, but also for station area development based on Japanese experiences in its major cities,” Mitsunori said.

JICA has been supporting the MAHSR project by providing ODA (official development assistance) loans of JPY 350,000 million (approximately Rs 20,000 crore) in total since 2017. The objective of the project is to develop a high-frequency mass transportation system by constructing the high-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, using Japan’s Shinkansen technology (also known as the “Bullet Train”), thereby enhancing mobility in India and contributing to regional economic development.

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