Work is progressing well in Gujarat for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project

Managing Director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHRCL), Achal Khare, recently in an interview with TOI, has talked about the ongoing progress on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project.

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NEW DELHI, (Metro Rail News): Managing Director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHRCL), Achal
Khare, recently in an interview with TOI, has talked about the ongoing progress on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project. Regarding status in Gujarat, he stated that “We have got 95% land in Gujarat and out of 351km falling in the state, contract for 325 km has been awarded. The project is now fully into the construction phase. All the remaining civil packages in the Gujarat portion will be awarded during the current calendar year.”

Regarding status in Maharashtra, he stated that, “24% land has been acquired. But this is very scattered and we can’t even take up work on 10-15 km. In Palghar, we were quite successful. We had carried out joint measurement surveys in 71 out of 73 villages. It shows that people are largely not against the project. We completed 450 sale deeds in Maharashtra, all on consent, and in only Palghar we have done 220 such sale deeds. But we need to have 1,200 sale deeds.  People are ready to give the land, the major issue is their land records.” “There are plots, around 500, where land ownership is not clear. There are plots where 150 or 200 names are entered in the records. They call it ‘gola plot’. There is no readymade solution to
this.

In Gujarat also, we had issues of plots where there were 20 owners of a plot. We discussed it with the Gujarat government and they extended all help to resolve ownership issues. We could settle issues there quite well. But in Palghar, in many cases the real owners and persons in possession of land are different,” he further added. About completion of project and the impact of Covid-19 on meeting project deadlines, he stated that, “The Covid impact will be there. But we are trying to do something by December 2023 or early 2024. We have aligned the contractor also on this thinking that let’s try and achieve something in one section for the trial purpose. I am in talks with the Japanese side. We have not been able to concretise all this. But they are agreeing to this kind of arrangement. We are trying that something is done in 2023. If not fully, our attempt is let’s partially fulfil the dream.”

He also talks about the budget allocation for the project and said that “This year we have been allocated Rs 14,000 crore, which is more than Rs 1,000 crore per month. We will award all civil contracts in Gujarat. We have awarded two major contracts, which are to the tune of Rs 33,000- Rs 34,000 crore that will be carried out in the next four years. This Rs 14,000 crore will be used mostly for works.”
On Delhi-Varanasi high-speed rail corridor, he stated that “We have submitted the draft report
for Delhi-Varanasi stretch. We will give all details in the final report. The idea is if the project is
sanctioned, we can start work from day one. All routes will be justified on economic return

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