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Modi, Abe kick-start work for India's first bullet train: "Technology is not anti-poor"

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Ahmedabad | Thursday, Sep 14 2017 IST
 
Giving a greater push to the development agenda of the Prime Minister NarendraModi especially in the run up to the polls in his home state Gujarat, Mr Modi and his visiting Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today jointly laid the foundation of the country's first bullet train project.Speaking on the occasion, under attack for being pro-rich in framing policies of his now over three-year-oldregime, Prime Minister Modi said technology need not be pro-rich and if used effectively it can in factfight poverty."There is often a concern raised that new technology is meant for the rich only. But technology can also be used for empowerment of the poor. This is the aim of our government," he said."Our aim is to make technology so affordable through maximum use that it becomes associated with the life of the poor," he said. Prime Minister made a strong case of his pet developmental agenda and henceforth speedier development would be the order of the day. "Over the years with human civilisation, travel network has played key role in the development," he said.PM Modi said a new economic system will also develop on the 508 Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed corridor."The entire area between the two cities will change into a single economic zone. A high speed corridor will also help develop India and give speed to economic progress."Bringing the two commercial nucleus closer in terms of traveling at a quicker speed would also make lot ofinvestment sense, say a number of traders in Ahmedabad - which was once 'karmabhoomi' of PM Modi during his 13-year-old stint as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.Prime Minister Modi has deliberately played up development card with all sincerity as successful development model was the main plank of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Modi government has lately come under attack for joblessness and drop in growth rate.The 17-billion dollars (estimated to be Rs 1,08,00000) high-speed railway line of 508-km to be built on Japan's famous Shinkansen technology, is expected to be operational by 2022, India's 75th year of Independence. The first agreement on the project was signed between India and Japan during Mr Abe's visit to India in December 2015.The high speed railway line between the two prominent cities in Western India is expected to cover 508-km in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. Mr Modi called Japanese PM "a karibi mitra (a very close friend)"."People do not get a bank like a country we have got," said Mr Modi referring to the Rs 88,000-crore soft loangiven by Japanese agency JICA for the high-speed corridor and said the project inauguration (of work)could take place today as Mr Abe had taken personal interest."India has a friend which has given it a loan of Rs 88,000-crore at 0.1 per cent interest for the bullet train and gave us a time of 50 years," PM Modi said thanking Japan adding, "Ek prakar se mufat mein poora project banta jaa raha hai. (One way the country's first bullet train in coming up for free)."More UNI DEVN SNU 1446

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0298-1053892.Xml

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