Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kapil Dave & Himanshu Kaushik| TNN | Updated: Jul 23, 2017, 
HIGHLIGHTS

In Ahmedabad, details are being finalized for the station for the bullet train
Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi will also take part in the launch of two Japan Industrial Parks
GANDHINAGAR/AHMEDABAD: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely to visit Ahmedabad in September for the ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Rs1 lakh crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. They will also take part in the launch of two Japan Industrial Parks, and in the inauguration of the International Buddhist Festival on the Sabarmati riverfront.

A high-level delegation of the Gujarat government — led by chief secretary J N Singh — is in Japan for a week-long visit to give final touches to Abe's plan to make his maiden trip to Gujarat. While the Government of India is following up on funding from Japan for the bullet train project, Gujarat government officials will pitch for investments for the two dedicated Japan Industrial Parks.

In Ahmedabad, details are being finalized for the station for the bullet train. The chairman of the Railway Board, A K Mittal held a review meeting on Saturday in Ahmedabad on the progress of the bullet train project and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation. The chairman will inspect the Sabarmati station on Sunday and will attend a meeting of the Gujarat Association for Rural and Urban Development and the Gujarat Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd.

A senior officer said that it is almost certain that the foundation stone for the project will be laid in Ahmedabad, but the venue is not yet fixed.

Sabarmati — from where the bullet train is likely to originate — will not be a conducive place for the visit of the two prime ministers.

"The Gujarat delegation led by the chief secretary will join the Indian delegation in talks with the Japan government to settle various details related to the likely visit of Abe to India, especially Gujarat," a senior officer familiar with developments said. "The Gujarat delegation will assist GOI's efforts to finalize the bullet train project and other Gujarat-related projects."

A detailed presentation on Japan Industrial Parks (I and II) will be made to the Japanese authorities, a source said. He said around Rs 1,500 crore investment has been made for the Mandal-Becharaji Japan Industrial Park I and 22 more projects are expected to draw investments. "The state government has notified 800 hectare land in Khoraj near Sanand for Japan Industrial Park II for which we expect around Rs 20,000 crore investment," he said. "Park II will have a Japanese residential colony and all infrastructure in line with Japanese standards."

Sources said that the Gujarat government will host a first-of-its kind International Buddhist festival in September. The festival will display the Buddhist heritage of Gujarat, India, and the world. Abe is likely to visit during PM Modi's birthday on September 17 or on his own birthday on September 21, the sources said.

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