Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii visited India in connection with India’s first high-speed railway, which will use Japan’s shinkansen bullet train system and is expected to be operational in 2023. He held a news conference in the capital city of New Delhi on the night of Dec. 28. Ishii unveiled that the Japanese and Indian governments will consider launching some sections of the rapid rail transit service ahead of schedule in 2022.
The Indian government has shown a desire to make the high-speed railway available in August 2022 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence. “We’ll consult with the Indian government to see what we can do, including the development of some sections,” said Ishii. However, he went on to say, “The current launch schedule is tight enough, so moving up the schedule would be very difficult,” expressing the view that realizing an early launch would not be easy based on the fact that India hasn’t started acquiring the land needed for the high-speed railway project yet.
India’s shinkansen project is designed to connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad (505 km) and full-scale construction is set to start next year.