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Govt inks pact with Japan to develop 4 stations as smart hubs on Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail route

MoHUA and MoR jointly ink MoU with JICA for Project SMART

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Ministry of Railways jointly signed an MoU with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (Project-SMART), according to an official statement issued today.

Project-SMART envisages to develop surrounding areas of Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) Stations to enhance accessibility and convenience of commuters and other stakeholders and to promote economic activities in the vicinity of station areas.

The MoU was inked for four High Speed Rail Stations- Sabarmati, Surat in Gujarat and Virar and Thane in Maharashtra; out of 12 stations on the route. Surat, Virar and Thane are Green field while Sabarmati is a Brown field development, the official statement explained.

The project would facilitate and enhance institutional capacity of State Governments, Municipal Corporations and Urban Development Authorities to plan, develop and manage surrounding areas of MAHSR stations.

The Ministry of Urban Affairs, Govts. of Gujarat, Maharashtra and JICA are organizing a series of seminars and field visits for Project–SMART in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The first seminar of the series has been organized at Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi on 8th May,  in which officers from Japan Embassy, JICA, the two union ministries and National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited held discussions.

The deliberations of the seminars would contribute in preparation of ‘Station Area Development Plans’ for Sabarmati, Surat, Virar and Thane HSR Stations and model handbook, containing experiences and methodologies adopted in Japan, India and other countries for Transit Oriented Development and Station Area Development.