India and Japan sign loan agreements for rail projects | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2018

India and Japan sign loan agreements for rail projects

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Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed two agreements with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) and the Kolkata East-West Metro Project.

With the signing of this third loan agreement for the Kolkata Metro Project, the cumulative loan amount provided by JICA for Metro projects in India (including Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad Metro) exceeds 1.2 trillion Japanese Yen (Rs 73,710 crore).

Amid various reports of Japan pulling out of the project due to the farmers’ protests and roadblocks because of land acquisition problems faced by the government of Maharashtra, the first tranche of loan has been disbursed by Japan. JICA signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide an ODA loan of 89,547 million Japanese Yen (Rs 5,500 crore) as Tranche 1.

Speaking on the occasion, Matsumoto said, “India has witnessed strong economic growth in recent years, and with this growth has come a sharp rise in the volume of passengers and goods being transported in the country. Both Maharashtra and Gujarat have been the nation’s growth drivers, and MAHSR is expected to further support such economic pulse as the Shinkansen did for Japan.”
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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