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Japanese experts to assist Indian architects develop bullet train stations

The 12 proposed stations on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train route are: Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Baroda, Anand, Sabarmati and Ahmedabad.

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New Delhi, Oct 14 : Japanese consultants will join hands with Indian architects to develop the 12 proposed bullet train stations and its adjoining areas in an integrated way.

In a meeting with senior officials of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Gujarat’s Urban Development and Municipal Commissioners, it was decided to take the help of Japanese experts in developing the areas around the stations — connecting them to bus, metro and other forms of transportation, a senior Indian Railways official in the know told IANS.

The 12 proposed stations on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train route are: Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Baroda, Anand, Sabarmati and Ahmedabad.

Railways will adopt a “transit-oriented development plan” for all these stations so that each becomes a commercial hub ensuring smooth connectivity with the outside world.

In urban planning, transit-oriented development is a type of urban development that maximises the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport.

“There will be scope of constructing housing complexes near some stations as per the plan,” the Railways official added.

The terminal building, which will have space for commercial activities like eateries, forex counters, malls and parking lots, will also be a major interchange hub, providing passengers seamless connectivity between the bullet train network and other services such as the metro and bus services, as well as last-mile connectivity.

“Unless the stations are well-connected with neighbouring districts, the bullet train service will not attract the ridership required to make the project viable,” said the official.

The bullet trains are expected to run at 350 km per hour covering the 508 km stretch in about two hours. In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.

Railways will have two distinct schedules for the bullet trains. The faster route will stop at fewer intermediary stations, which will include Surat and Vadodara, before reaching Ahmedabad, while the other will stop at all stations.

The development of 12 stations and its adjoining areas is expected to be a boon for economic activity in the region.

The cost of the ambitious project is estimated to be Rs 1,10,000 crore and Japan is providing a soft loan worth Rs 88,000 crore at 0.1 per cent.

The 508-km high speed train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is expected to be operational by August 2022.

(Arun Kumar Das can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh pay tributes to Nehru

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New Delhi, Nov 14: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan and others paid homage to the nation’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary at Shanti Van.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Gandhi and senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, P.C. Chacko among others paid floral tributes to Nehru at the Shanti Vana here.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remembered Nehru.

‘Remembering Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, on his birth anniversary’, President Kovind tweeted.

“We recall his contribution to our freedom struggle and during his tenure as Prime Minister”, Modi said in a tweet.

Born on November 14, 1889, Nehru took oath as the first Prime Minister on August 15, 1947, after the country attained independence from the British rule.

Chacha Nehru served the country till May 27, 1964. He still remains as the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

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Rafale Jet deal hearing in Supreme Court underway

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New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court on Wednesday began its crucial hearing on pleas seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale fighter jets deal. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph to examine the pricing details of the 36 Rafale fighter jets which  India is procuring from France.

The central government on Monday submitted over a 14-page document related to details of its decision-making process before the apex court in a sealed cover.

The initial arguments were started by petitioner advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

Sharma told the bench that report filed by the government in the court reveals that there has been serious fraud while making the decision post May 2015.

He urged Supreme Court that the matter be heard by a five-judge bench.

Counsel appearing for AAP leader Sanjay Singh told the top court that pricing of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal was revealed in the Parliament twice, hence, the submission of government that pricing details cannot be made public was not acceptable.

Senior lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for former Union minister Arun Shourie, who is also one of the petitioners in the Rafale deal case, submitted to the three-judge Apex Court that only in three situations, the intergovernmental route can be resorted.

He also told the Apex Court that there was no sovereign guarantee from the side of the France government in the deal.

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Chhattisgarh: 5 Security Personnel, 1 Civilian injured in Bijapur blast

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Bijapur, Nov 14: Five security personnel and one civilian were injured on Wednesday in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

The incident occurred at around 9:00 am in a truck carrying Border Security Forces (BSF) troops of 414 Adhoc Batallion in the Bijapur Ghatti area.

Out of the five security personnel injured, four of them belonged to BSF while one person was from District Reserve Guard (DRG).

“4 BSF jawans, one DRG and one civilian have been injured in IED blast in Bijapur Ghatti (7 kms from Bijapur). All injured have been admitted to a hospital in Bijapur”, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Naxal Operation) P Sundarraj told ANI.

The blast took place two days after the first phase of assembly election to 18 seats in the state.

In the other incident a gunfight broke out during a search operation not far from the IED blast spot. The 85 Battalion of the CRPF troopers were attacked by the insurgents. “Firing is still on,” Deputy Inspector General M. Dinakaran said.

Both attacks took place simultaneously at 9.15 a.m. in the Mahadev Ghat area, a police officer said.

It was the ninth Maoist attack in 19 days in the poll-bound state where the second phase of voting to 72 seats will take place on November 20.

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