The Minister of Railways, Government of India, Shri Dinesh Trivedi along with Indian Railway Board Members, held discussions with a visiting Japanese delegation led by Mr. Takeshi Maeda, Minister for Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Government of Japan on bilateral issues in the field of rail transportation and various aspects of high speed train corridors (popularly called bullet trains).
The members of the Japanese delegation included Mr. Ryuhei Maeda, DG for International Affairs, MLIT, Mr. Akhihiko Tamura, Sr. Dy. DG, Railway Bureau, MLIT, Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Satoshi Seino, President, East Japan Railway Company, Mr. Tadaharu Ohashi, Chairman, Kawasaki Heavy Industry and Mr. Makoto Washizu, President, Japan International Transport Institute. Indian Railways delegation consisted of Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board, Ms. Vijaya Kanth, Financial Commissioner, Shri K. K. Srivastava, Member Traffic, Shri A. K. Vohra, Member Staff, Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical, Shri A. P. Mishra, Member Engineering and Shri Sanjiv Handa, Member Mechanical.
There had been efforts from both sides last year in the direction of High Speed Train System. A delegation led by Mr. Ryuhei Maeda, DG for International Affairs had visited New Delhi in October 2011 and held fruitful interaction with Shri Trivedi and Railway Board officers. This was followed by a visit of Indian Railway officers to Japan to have first hand understanding of Shikansen system. Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan Railway Technical Service (JARTS) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are also working in this direction.
It may be worthwhile to mention that Indian Ministry of Railways has selected six corridors for conducting pre-feasibility studies. These are; 1) Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, 2) Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, 3) Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai, 4) Chennai-Banalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Trivandrum, 5) Howrah-Haldia and 6) Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi.
The consultants for pre-feasibility study for four corridors have already been appointed namely M/s Systra, M/s Italffer and M/s RITES Limited for Pune – Mumbai – Ahmedabad; M/s Mott MacDonald for Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna; M/s INECO, M/s PROINTEC, M/s Ayesa for Howrah-Haldia; and M/s. Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Oriental Consultancy along with Parsons Brinkhoff India for Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai. However, the process of appointing consultants for the corridors Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar and Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Trivandrum is still going on. Final report for pre-feasibility study for Pune-Mumbai-Hyderabad high speed rail corridor has already been submitted by the consultant.
In the Railway Budget 2010-11 of Government of India, the Indian Minister for Railways had announced for setting up of a National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA) for planning, standard setting, implementing & monitoring of High Speed Rail projects. The process for its approval by the Union Cabinet is going on.