India has decided to partner with Japan for a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project in the western part of the country, according to several reports Thursday.
Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Japan will help build a 500-kilometer bullet train line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the reports said.
Mumbai is India’s financial hub while Ahmedabad is the biggest city in Gujarat, the home state of Modi.
Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2023.
It would cost about 980 billion rupees (US$14.7 billion) and be financed by a low-interest loan from Japan, the Wall Street Journal cited an Indian official as saying.
The deal is expected to be announced this weekend when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travels to India on an official visit.
The cooperation comes as the two countries have been strengthening ties in the last 18 months to build a counterweight to China’s growing influence, the Journal noted.
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