Karnataka mulls bullet trains for high-speed connectivity

June 4th, 2012 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 4 (IANS) Karnataka plans to operate ‘bullet trains’ across the state to provide high-speed connectivity between its tech hub Bangalore and Mysore, Belgaum and Gulbarga in the northern region of the state.

“We are in discussion with Japanese experts who have built and operate bullet trains in their country, especially between Tokyo and Osaka, to provide high-speed rail connectivity between Bangalore and Mysore (150 km), Bangalore and Belgaum (610 km) and Bangalore and Gulbarga (585 km),” state Industry Minister Murgesh Nirani told reporters here Monday.

As part of its basic infrastructure development across the state, including road, rail and airport connectivity, the state government has formulated a pro-active policy to attract investments from the private sector in the infrastructure sector on the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

“We are commissioning the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the ambitious project, which will require dedicated tracks, exclusive coaches and high-power connectivity to operate high-speed trains for reducing travel time between inter-cities by more than 50-60 percent,” Nirani said.

As railways is a central subject, the state government will approach the central government and the Indian Railways for partnering in the project with financial assistance from international agencies such as the World Bank.

“JICA has come forward to assist us in the project. An expression of interest will be signed with it for the bullet trains project at the Global Investors’ Meet (GIM 2012)June 7,” Nirani pointed out.

The state government is also planning to build a tunnel through the 28 km Shiradi ghat section on the Bangalore-Mangalore (325 km) state highway to reduce travel time and provide a high-quality road to enable exporters and importers use the Mangalore port optimally than depend on ports in other states.

“The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has offered to provide technical assistance in building the tunnel with private builders on the PPP model,” Nirani added.

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