Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s on-going visit to Japan is expected to usher in exponential financial benefits for Gujarat. Not only were the Ahmedabad Metro project and the bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai discussed on Monday, adequate Japanese technical and financial support was also sought for a range of sectors including solar power and ship-breaking in Modi’s home state.
The Indian side sought support in upgrading the world’s biggest ship-breaking yard at Alang in Gujarat which has been plagued by pollution and safety concerns. Both the sides have in the past signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for technology transfer and financial assistance from Japan to assist in upgrading the operation at Alang — located in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat — to meet international standards.
In order to fast-track Japanese technology into a fast developing industrial zone at Dahej in South Gujarat — which has a Special Economic Zone and a PCPIR — the Indian side during today’s talks assured to resolve outstanding issues regarding the Seawater Desalination project including those surrounding tariff, water quality parameters, water sales, etc. A Japanese-Singaporean consortium is spearheading the 336 MLD (million litre per day) water desalination plant in the Dahej SEZ.
Meanwhile, the Japanese also announced the launch of a feasibility study by Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for setting up of a 10 MW canal-top grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat as a model for next generation infrastructure, stated an official release from the Press Information Bureau on Monday.
Both the Japanese and the Indian side also decided to cooperate on the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project. “Appreciating Japan’s contribution to the development of urban mass rapid transport system in India, Prime Minister Modi sought Japan’s association with Ahmedabad Metro Project. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s willingness to support the project in a mutually beneficial manner,” the release stated. JICA has been funding a number of metro projects in India. The state-run agency implementing the Ahmedabad Metro project has sought a Rs 5900 crore loan from JICA.
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“Prime Minister Abe expressed his hope that India could introduce Shinkansen system for the Ahmedabad – Mumbai route. Prime Minister Abe expressed his readiness to provide financial, technical and operational support to introduce Shinkansen system, for which Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation. The two Prime Ministers look forward to the completion of the Joint Feasibility Study on High Speed Railway system on Ahmedabad – Mumbai route,” the release added.
Both sides also welcomed the issuance of the interim report of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed railway and expressed hope that the joint feasibility study will be completed by July 2015.
The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (Project) — 40 percent of which falls in Gujarat — was also discussed along with the creation of new generation of Smart Community projects across six states in India. Both sides also welcomed the progress made in development of industrial cities including the one at Dholera in Gujarat. In the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 summit a number of Japanese companies had evinced interest in developing the Special Investment Region at Dholera.