Bullet Train expected to start by 2022 in August, on schedule

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New Delhi: India’s ambitious project of setting up Bullet Train network in the country is expected to meet deadline. As per recent information, Bullet train might start from 2022. The earlier deadline was 2023 and National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) feels it is on schedule.

The entire project is estimated at Rs 1.08-lakh-crore project with 80 per cent of the loan financed by Japan.  The work on bullet train is racing against time as the work on the project started in December 2017. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project has been mired with protests and controversy from land owners in Gujarat and Maharashtra over land acquisition. These protests are getting support from local groups and political parties.

NHSRCL assures that it has not missed milestones set in its timeline.  To built the entire network, NHSRCL will need 1,400 hectares, with 353 hectares in Maharashtra and the remaining in Gujarat.

The requirement is further divided into 7,000 plots, in 195 villages in Gujarat and in 104 villages in Maharashtra. The project will pass through eight districts in Guajarat and three districts in Maharashtra besides a small area in Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

What is the progress like so far?

As per usual procedure, LIDAR is started along with land acquisition along with a laser-based aerial survey. This is followed by a physical survey to authenticate and update LIDAR results. After this a joint measurement survey by a team representing all stakeholders is done. Subsequently information of the land owners is processed for the compensation means.

For the bullet train LIDAR was wrapped up in 2017 and the actual study began in December last year covering 50 villages in Maharashtra and 184 villages in Gujarat.

Engineers had visited sites and given notices to land-owners. The notice however did not state that the project requires only a linear tract 17.5m wide (not the whole land) and that this was a survey, not a notice for acquisition. Several senior NHSRCL officials now presume that because of this exclusion, local politicians convinced farmers that they would lose their complete land ownership.

Mapping the progress the joint measurement is completed in 30 in Gujarat and 50 villages in Maharashtra covering 102 km of the 508 km line.

This analysis is followed by installing a small pillar for physical detection for land acquisition. NHSRCL officials said that disbursing compensation takes around three months post all processes. The officials are trying to meet the deadline of land acquisition by December 2018. Till now only 0.9 hectares in Bandra-Kurla Complex has been physically handed over.

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