Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Vietnam Railway Corporation to replace all old Train Cars by 2021

Six new trains will be built this year and cars which have been in service for 10 to 15 years will be rehabilitated. In the last two years, VNR has built 90 new cars valued at a combined VND957 billion (US$42.2 million).

VNR is using 1,000 train cars and 296 locomotives originating in many countries and many of them have been in use for 20 to 40 years. Some VND4.14 trillion is needed for new train cars and locomotives between 2016 and 2020.

According to a VNR report, the sector encountered numerous difficulties last year due to the rising competition of other means of transport, especially low-cost air services, and the impacts of storms and floods on railways.

Meanwhile, railway infrastructure development projects have been hit by financial constraints.

However, the number of railway passengers and revenue have increased. Particularly, VNR obtained revenue of nearly VND8.2 trillion last year, up 10.9% year-on-year and beating the full-year target by 1.9%, and after-tax profit of VND154 billion, exceeding the figure in 2016 and the plan for last year.

According to VNR, despite efforts to improve service quality, launch promotion programs and lower fares, the sector has not been able to meet the demand of passengers while logistics and transport services have remained underdeveloped.

The sector looks to attract more passengers, boost revenue by at least 8% and earn after-tax profit of VND158 billion this year. VNR will continue proposing relevant ministries and agencies spend VND7 trillion upgrading the north-south railroad and invest in 100 new locomotives in the 2016-2020 period.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said VNR should achieve growth of 8-9% and raise its passenger transport market share to 11% by 2020.

Booking of Anubhuti Coach now possible with the original Train No.12009/10 in Mumbai–Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express

The passengers can now book the seats for Anubhuti coach attached to Mumbai – Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express with the original train No. i.e. 12009/12010 train instead of the temporarily allotted train no 22009/22010. This change has come into effect from 22nd January, 2018.

It is worth mentioning that Anubhuti coach had been connected in train No. 12009/12010 Mumbai – Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express train as an additional Executive class coach w.e.f. 3rd January, 2018 but for booking purpose of this Anubhuti coach, different train numbers 22009/22010 were allotted temporarily for a period upto 20th January, 2018. Now, this provision has been removed and passengers can use the code ‘EA’ in the class column of the requisition form at the time of reservation for booking seat in the Anubhuti coach.

मुंबई–अहमदाबाद शताब्दी एक्सप्रेस में जोड़ी गई अनुभूति कोच की बुकिंग यात्री अब से वास्तविक ट्रेन सं. 22009/22010 में कर सकते हैं।इसके लिए पहले अस्थायी रूप से ट्रेन सं. 22009/22010 आवंटित की गई थी। यह बदलाव 22 जनवरी, 2018 से प्रभावी हो गया है।

उल्लेखनीय है कि 3 जनवरी, 2018 से ट्रेन सं. 12009/12010 मुंबई सेंट्रल–अहमदाबाद शताब्दी एक्सप्रेस में एक अतिरिक्त एक्ज़िक्यूटिवश्रेणी के रूप में अनुभूति कोच जोड़ा गया था, लेकिन इस अनुभूति कोच की बुकिंग के लिए 20 जनवरी, 2018 तक की अवधि के लिए अलगअस्थायी ट्रेन सं. 22009/22010 आवंटित की गई थी। अब इस प्रावधान में बदलाव किये गये हैं तथा अनुभूति कोच में सीट बुकिंग करानेहेतु यात्री अब आरक्षण कराते समय आरक्षण फॉर्म पर श्रेणी के कॉलम में ‘EA’ लिखकर आरक्षण करवा सकते हैं।

SER to run 204 pairs of Summer Special Trains towards different directions

To clear extra rush of passengers during the ensuing summer, South Eastern Railway has  decided to run two hundred four (204) pairs of Special trains during the period from 05.02.18 to 02.07.18. The Special trains will run in the following routes:-

  • Santragachi-Chennai-Santragachi  (26 pairs)
  • Santragachi-New Jalpaiguri-Santragachi (13 pairs)
  • Santragachi-Puri-Santragachi (27 pairs)
  • Shalimar-Jaipur-Shalimar (13 pairs)
  • Santragachi-Pune-Santragachi (13 pairs)
  • Santragachi-Puducherry-Santragachi (13 pairs)
  • Howrah-Ranchi-Howrah (39 pairs)
  • Hatia-Pune-Hatia (13 pairs)
  • Tatanagar-Kacheguda-Tatanagar (21 pairs)
  • Shalimar-Bhanjpur-Shalimar (13 pairs)
  • Bhanjpur-Puri-Bhanjpur  (13 pairs)

02841/02842 Santragachi-Chennai-Santragachi Weekly Superfast Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Chennai Superfast Special (02841) leaving Santragachi every Sunday at 12:40 hrs will reach Chennai at 15.20 hrs, the next day. In the opposite direction, the train (02842) leaving Chennai every Monday at 18:20 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 23:30hrs, the next day. This train will run during the period from 01.04.18 to 25.06.18. The Special trains will have eight AC 3 Tier and eight sleeper class coaches.

06057/06058 Santragachi-Chennai-Santragachi Weekly Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Chennai Special (06057) leaving Santragachi every Thursday at 23:50 hrs will reach Chennai Central at 05.30 hrs on Saturday. In the opposite direction, the train (06058) leaving Chennai Central every Wednesday at 15:15 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 19:00 hrs on Thursday. This train will run during the period from 04.04.18 to 28.06.18. The Special trains will have two AC 3 Tier, ten sleeper class and two general second class coaches.

08047/08048 Santragachi-New Jalpaiguri-Santragachi Weekly Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-New Jalpaiguri Special (08047) leaving Santragachi every Sunday at 10.25 hrs will reach New Jalpaiguri at 20.55 hrs, the same day. In the opposite direction, the train (08048) leaving New Jalpaiguri every Sunday at 23:55 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 11:15 hrs,  the next day. This train will run during the period from 01.04.18 to 24.06.18. The Special trains will have one AC-2 Tier, three AC-3 Tier, nine sleeper class and three general second class coaches.

02809/02810 Santragachi-Puri-Santragachi Weekly Superfast Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Puri Superfast Special (02809) leaving Santragachi every Thursday at 19.00 hrs will reach Puri at 03.20 hrs, the next day. In the opposite direction, the train (02810) leaving Puri every Friday at 13:30 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 22:15 hrs, the same day. This train will run during the period from 05.04.18 to 29.06.18. The Special trains will have eight AC-3 Tier and eight sleeper class coaches.

08404/08403 Santragachi-Puri-Santragachi Weekly special (14 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Puri Special (08404) leaving Santragachi every Saturday at 19.10 hrs will reach Puri at 04.00 hrs, the next day. In the opposite direction, the train (08403) leaving Puri every Friday at 21:25 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 06:45 hrs, the next day. This train will run during the period from 30.03.18 to 30.06.18. The Special trains will have one AC-2 Tier, three AC-3 Tier, ten sleeper class and four general second class coaches.

08061/08062 Shalimar-Jaipur-Shalimar Weekly Special (13 Pairs):

The Shalimar-Jaipur Special (08061) leaving Shalimar every Monday at 20:20 hrs will reach Jaipur at 06.35 hrs on Wednesday. In the opposite direction, the train (08062) leaving Jaipur every Wednesday at 12:45 hrs will arrive Shalimar at 23:20 hrs, the next day. This train will run from 02.04.18 to 27.06.18. The Special trains will have four AC-2 Tier,  five AC 3 Tier and four sleeper class coaches.

02822/02821  Santragachi-Pune-Santragachi Weekly AC Superfast Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Pune AC Superfast Special (02822) leaving Santragachi every Saturday at 18:30 hrs will reach Pune at 02.45 hrs on Monday. In the opposite direction, the train (02821) leaving Pune every Monday at 10:30 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 18.15 hrs on Tuesday. This train will run during the period from 07.04.18 to 02.07.18. The Special trains will have eight AC 3 Tier and three AC 2 Tier coaches.

06009/06010 Santragachi-Puducherry-Santragachi Weekly Special (13 Pairs):

The Santragachi-Puducherry Special (06009)leaving Santragachi every Monday at 14:10 hrs will reach Puducherry at 21.45 hrs on Tuesday. In the opposite direction, the train (06010) leaving Puducherry every Saturday at 19:15 hrs will arrive Santragachi at 04.30 hrs on Monday. This train will run during the period from 07.04.18 to 02.07.18. The Special trains will have one AC 2 Tier, one AC 3 Tier, seven sleeper class and six general second class coaches.

08627/08628  Howrah-Ranchi-Howrah Tri Weekly Special (39 Pairs):

The Howrah-Ranchi Special (08627) leaving Howrah every SundayMonday and Tuesday at 12:50 hrs will reach Ranchi at 22.10 hrs, the same day. In the opposite direction, the train (08628) leaving Ranchi every SundayMonday and Tuesday at 05:45 hrs will arrive Howrah at 15.15 hrs, the same day. This train will run during the period from 01.04.18 to 26.06.18. The Special trains will have two AC Chair Car and ten general Chair Car coaches.

02846/02845 Hatia-Pune-Hatia Weekly Superfast Special (13 Pairs):

The Hatia-Pune Superfast Special (02846) leaving Hatia every Wednesday at 21:00 hrs will reach Pune at 02.45 hrs on Friday. In the opposite direction, the train (02845) leaving Pune every Friday at 10:45 hrs will arrive Hatia at 18.20 hrs on Saturday. This train will run during the period from 04.04.18 to 29.06.18. The Special trains will have one AC 2 Tier, four AC 3 Tier, six sleeper class and four general second class coaches.

07439/07438 Tatanagar-Kacheguda-Tatanagar Weekly special (21 Pairs):

The Tatanagar-Kacheguda Special (07439) leaving Tatanagar every Tuesday at 22:50 hrs will reach Kacheguda at 05.00 hrs on Thursday. In the opposite direction, the train (07438) leaving Kacheguda every Monday at 13:00 hrs will arrive Tatanagar at 19.45 hrs, the next day. This train will run during the period from 05.02.18 to 26.06.18. The Special trains will have one AC 2 Tier, two AC 3 Tier, seven sleeper class and six general second class coaches.

08093/08094 Shalimar-Bhanjpur-Shalimar Weekly Special (13 Pairs):

The Special Train (08093) leaving Shalimar every Friday at 17:35 hrs will reach Bhanjpur at 22:45 hrs, the same day. In the return direction, the Special Train (08094) will leave Bhanjpur every Sunday at 06:15 hrs and will arrive Shalimar at 12:20 hrs, the same day. This train will run during the period from 06.04.18 to 01.07.18. The Special trains will have six general second class coaches.

08091/08092 Bhanjpur-Puri-Bhanjpur Weekly special (13 Pairs):

The Special Train (08091) leaving Bhanjpur every Friday at 23:50 hrs will reach Puri at 06:30 hrs, the next day. In the return direction, the Special Train (08092) will leave Puri every Saturday at 22:45 hrs and will arrive Bhanjpur at 04:45 hrs, the next day.  This train will run during the period from 06.04.18 to 30.06.18. The Special trains will have six general second class coaches.


Doubling and Electrification of Manmad-Daund will be completed in 3-4 years: GM/SCR

: Doubling and electrification of the line between Manmad and Daund will be completed within next four and three years respectively, enabling the railways to commission more trains, according to Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railways.

“Our staff successfully completed the survey for both the facilities within six months and submitted the same to the government. In fact, doubling work has already begun between Mudked and Parbani. For the rest of the line, fund allocation is likely to be made in the upcoming budget,” he said while talking to mediapersons, here on Wednesday.

Mr. Yadav, who was accompanied by the SCR senior officials, arrived here from Mudked as part of his annual inspection, and went round the station making suggestions to authorities on local amenities.

He inaugurated a combined crew booking lobby and rest room for the running staff at the guest house. He also planted a sapling on the station premises.

He said that Nizamabad station is an important one in the SCR, which would have Wi-Fi facility from March, for the benefit of passengers.

Two trains, LTT, presently running between Mumbai and Nizamabad and another one from Secunderabad, would be extended to Karimnagar, he said.

General Manager said that all stations would have at least one foot overbridge and platforms would be raised. Four escalators would be installed at the station here in coming months, he said disclosing that three rail over bridges were sanctioned one each at Arsapally, Madhavanagar and Navipet in the district.

Mr. Yadav said that railways are ready for sanctioning any number of rail-under-bridges, provided local people came forward with requests, with the approval of the State government. A lot of development works were going on in railways, he said.

Divisional Railway Manager Arun Kumar Jain and other senior officers were present.

Augmentation of Extra Coaches to Nanded-Panvel-Nanded and Vijayawada-Hubli-Vijayawada Amaravathi Express

In order to provide travelling facility for passengers, South Central Railway will Permanently augment of H.S.Nanded-Panvel-H.S.Nanded and Vijayawada-Hubli-Vijayawada Amaravathi Express with additional Coaches  as detailed below:

  1. Train No. 17614 H.S.Nanded – Panvel Express will be augmented with one Sleeper Class Coach from 29th January, 2018.
  2. Train No. 17613 Panvel – H.S.Nanded Express will be augmented with one Sleeper Class Coach from 30th January, 2018.
  3. Train No. 17225 Vijayawada – Hubli Amaravathi Express will be augmented with one AC III Tier and one Sleeper Class Coach from 26th January, 2018.
  4. Train No. 17226 Hubli – Vijayawada Amaravathi Express will be augmented with one AC III Tier and  one Sleeper Class Coach from 27th January, 2018.

For New Mumbai Bridges, Army Draws On “War Store” Near Doklam

The army, which was brought in last year to build three foot over-bridges in Mumbai, had drawn on its resources stocked near the Indo-China border, a senior army officer overseeing the project has said. The project will miss its January 31 deadline by a fortnight because of gaps in coordination with the railways in the early days of the project.

 The government had turned to the army for the new bridges after a deadly stampede broke out on September 29 when an unusually large crowd tried to cross the old, narrow bridge connecting two of the busiest stations in Mumbai – the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations. Twenty-three people died in the stampede, many more were injured.

It turned out that Railways Minister Piyush Goyal’s predecessor, Suresh Prabhu, had cleared plans for a new overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station in 2015 but the railways had taken 18 months to call for the bids. This too was done only after the massive tragedy.

Railways Minister Goyal called the delay “a wake-up call for all my colleagues in the railways”. He ordered a probe as well. Within the next month, the government called in the army.

That meant the Bombay Engineer Group, a regiment of the engineering corps of the army.

The officer leading this effort, Brigadier Dheeraj Mohan, told reporters that the bridges being built at Mumbai were actually “part of the war store” brought in because they had an early target to meet.

“We got it (material) from the war store because when this tragedy happened… innocent lives were lost…. And the army got the responsibility to fast track it,” Brigadier Mohan, who is Commandant of the Bombay Engineer Group, said.

“This bridge was moved from (near) the China Doklam border,” he said, a reference to the army’s “war store” on the Indian side of the Doklam Plateau.

The plateau is claimed by both Beijing and Bhutan as their territory. India backs Bhutan’s claim to Doklam that became well-known because it was the site of an aggressive stand-off with China that lasted 73 days.

The over-bridge, mostly made of high carbon steel, is as good as a permanent bridge, he told NDTV.

Similar bridges built 40-50 years back are still functional in harsh climates, he said.


Brigadier Mohan told NDTV that the overbridge – called Bailey bridges after the British civil servant who had designed them during the Second World War – had been built to higher specifications than sought by the railways.

“I think fair to say that 90 per cent of the work is complete,” he said.

Tickets from Shravanabelegola to attract Cess on all Trains

Bengaluru Railway Division will introduce a fee of Rs.15 on all train tickets purchased from Shravanabelegola railway station from February 3 or 4. The Railway Board has given it the green signal to proceed with the move.

Top railway sources confirmed that a ‘surcharge cess’ would be levied to compensate the division for the massive infrastructure expenses incurred due to the upcoming festival. “The proposal was sent to the Railway Board last month and we have received clearance to go ahead with the levy of the fee,” a top railway official said. This would be applicable to offline or online bookings.

The Bengaluru Division has overhauled the existing infrastructure in this tiny ‘E’ category station to cater to lakhs of pilgrims expected to visit the town for Mahamastakabhisheka festival from February 7 to 25. The line connecting Nelamangala with Shravanabelegola was commissioned in March 2017, thereby ensuring easy rail access for the event for pilgrims.

“This is the first time the Division will impose such a cess on its passengers as it is the first time the Railways is chipping in a big way to ensure accessibility to the venue,” another official said. “We have gone by the Railway rule book. Whenever any mela of a grand scale takes place in the country, like the Kumbh Mela, the Division has the right to charge a fee for its services,” the official added.

KTR talks with JICA for providing Financial Assistance to Phase-II Hyderabad Metro Rail project

In a bid to collaborate with Japan for the Hyderabad metro rail’s phase-2 works, the Telangana government and Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) officials held talks with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which channels development assistance from the Japan government to overseas entities.

“We have initiated talks with JICA, which finances different infrastructure projects, as of now. The investment process is a long one. We will prepare a detailed project report (for the collaboration with JICA for the metro rail’s phase-2 project), which has to be approved by our state cabinet and then the government of India. Only then will it be sent to JICA,” said N.V.S. Reddy, managing director, HMR, at a press conference on Monday.

Reddy added that HMR will complete the 66-kilometer (originally 72-kilometer) phase-1 of the metro rail network by the year-end. As of now, a 30-kilometer stretch connecting Hyderabad to the Hi-tech city area is operational.

Gaddam Vivekanand, advisor to the government of Telangana, who was part of the delegation that visited Japan and South Korea, said a lot of “fruitful” discussion had taken place with big companies, which are interested in coming to the state for investment. “They were impressed with our government providing 100% incentives (for investors), 100 % electricity and even water,” he added.

The talks were held last week when Telangana information technology and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao, along with other state government officials, visited Japan and South Korea and held bilateral discussions with companies to invest in the state in upcoming projects like the Pharma city and the Kakatiya Textile park in the state. Rao is presently in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum. Vivekanad said a memorandum of understanding was signed to develop long-term collaboration between South Korea and the state in the fields of animation, gaming, artificial intelligence and electronic manufacturing.

HMRL asked to prepare detailed project report for Hyderabad metro phase II

The Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited, the nodal agency implementing the 72-km-long elevated Hyderabad Rs. 14,132 crore metro project has been called upon to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for phase II of the project.

The decision comes within days of a high powered delegation headed by KT Rama Rao, State Industries and IT Minister, touring Japan and South Korea to explore various possibilities, including funding options.

SP Singh, Telangana Chief Secretary, who held a task force meeting, today requested NVS Reddy, Managing Director, HMRL to initiate preparatory activity including conducting of surveys for determining the broad contours of Metro phase-II expansion programme and preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

Singh said this would help approach the Central Government for sanction of Metro phase-II.

Towards this, he emphasised on the need for a coordinated action plan involving Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, Collectors of Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Sangareddy, Medchal districts and other senior officers concerned, apart from senior management officials of concessionaire L&T and GMR, which runs the Hyderabad airport.

Singh suggested the need to improve the feeder services and last mile connectivity for the Metro trains which are being operated in the 30 km stretch of Miyapur-Ameerpet-Nagole.

During the meeting, the need to introduce electric vehicles as non-polluting Metro feeder services at an early date and also augmentation of TS road transport feeder services.

The Government has also decided to conduct a quick study to get the feedback from Metro rail commuters, do station-wise mapping with frequency details and match the frequency of RTC feeder services and Metro trains, so as to provide end to end connectivity for commuters.

HMRL has been called upon to complete phase-I of the Metro Rail project by the end of this year and also to commission the balance portions of phase-I, including the stretches between Ameerpet and LB Nagar (16 km) of corridor-I, Ameerpet and Hitec City (10 km) of corridor-III and JBS to MGBS (9 km) of corridor-II in a phased manner starting from June this year.

Foundation Stone for Railway Projects worth Rs.3618 Crore Laid on Thiruvananthapuram Division

Foundation Stone for three Rail projects on Southern Railway – doubling and electrification of Madurai-Vanchi Maniyachi-Thoothukudi section; Vanchi Maniyachi-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil section; and Kanyakumari- Thiruvananthapuram Central section- laid at Kanniyakumari on Tuesday.

Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain and Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, along with ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, participated in the function.

The Rs. 3,618-crore projects, covering 349 km in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, will be executed by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.

Once completed, the entire Chennai Egmore-Kanyakumari section will have double lines and facilitate faster and seamless connectivity between Tamil Nadu and Kerala for passenger and freight trains.

The Madurai-Kanyakumari single line is being utilised beyond its capacity and the Southern Railway has constraints in introduction of additional trains on the Chennai-Kanyakumari section, its highest passenger revenue generating sector.

The project was announced in the Railway Budget 2015-16.

However, it could not take off till now due to paucity of funds. Only in August 2017 did the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the project.

Doubling and electrification of the 86.56-km Thiruvananthapuram Central-Nagercoil Junction-Kanyakumari railway line running through Kerala and Tamil Nadu will cost Rs. 1,431.90-crore.

Work on the bridges in the 5.5-km Nagercoil-Kanyakumari section will commence on Tuesday itself, for which the works were awarded to two contractors.

“As no land acquisition is needed on the stretch, the doubling work will begin after the foundation stone is laid, keeping 2022 as the deadline for commissioning by Railways,” a top construction official told.

The work is being executed under the supervision of the Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Ernakulam. Chennai-based Copco Engineering Pvt Ltd has bagged the bid for the construction of bridges and Erode-based R.S. Developers Pvt Ltd, the earthwork.

42 hectares of land

The project has 15 stations, 394 bridges, 35 level crossings and five tunnels, and for this as much as 42 hectares of land is to be acquired. Of these, 17 hectares is in Kerala and the remaining is in Tamil Nadu.

The 47-km Eraniel-Thiruvananthapuram Central stretch poses a problem, as land acquisition is mainly confined to this corridor spread over the two States. Bids for the works can be floated only after the land acquisition is completed by the two States. The Railways had already submitted the details of the alignment of the second line to be laid to the State and the district administration, the official said.

State’s assurance

The State government promised to speed up land acquisition for the project at a high-level meeting convened by K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism and IT, and attended by Ajit Pandit, additional member, Works, Railway Board, last week in Kochi.

The Union Minister, during the current visit, will also inaugurate the doubling of the 160-km stretch from Madurai Junction to Thoothukudi and the 102-km line from Vanchi Maniyachi to Nagercoil Junction and some passenger amenities, at a function to be held at Nagercoil Junction.

Bullet Train project should complete by 2023: Japanese Consul

Japanese Consul General Ryoji Noda said here today that India’s first high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad should be completed by 2023.

Noda, Consul General, Consulate of Japan in Mumbai, said both Japan and India were global and strategic partners and this relationship has further strengthened after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Gujarat in September last year.

“Last year in September, our PM Abe and Mrs Abe visited Gujarat. Both Abe and (Indian PM) Narendra Modi also inaugurated the high-speed train project, which would connect Ahmedabad and Mumbai in just two hours. This project should be completed by the end of 2023,” Noda told reporters here today.

In September last year, Modi and Abe had laid the foundation of the high-speed rail project, commonly known as Bullet Train project, between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Noda was in the city to present the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’, conferred by the Emperor of Japan, to city-based tax consultant Mukesh Patel, who is the president of Indo-Japan Friendship Association.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Noda also said they were promoting Japan as a tourist destination among Indians, as “very few people” from India visit his country as compared to those from China.

“We are promoting our tourism among Indian people, as there is a huge gap between those coming from China and those from India to our country. While around 2.6 million Chinese tourists visit Japan (every year), only 1,20,000 come from India,” he said.

“By 2030, over 50 per cent of Indian population will be of middle-income group. Therefore, we see a great potential. To attract more Indian tourists, we are trying to soften our visa process. We have recently introduced multi-visa system to encourage Indians (to visit Japan),” Noda said.