NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): New Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday reviewed the Central Government ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project. During a review meeting, the Managing Director of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), Satish Agnihotri apprised the Railway Minister on the status of the project.
As per the officials, so far 1,035 hectare of land has been acquired out of the total of 1,396 hectare required for the project. Out of the 74% land acquisition so far, the majority of 96% of the acquired land is in Gujarat, while only 25% is in Maharashtra. On the other hand, 96% of the land needed for the project in the Union Territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli has been already acquired, they added.
As per the officials, civil work contracts for the construction of 92% of the high speed corridor alignment i.e. 325 km out of 351 km along with five stations have been awarded in Gujarat and Dadra Nagar Haveli. Construction work has also started in the region where around 2,200 people are employed with 300 major machineries. About 90% land has already been handed over to contractors for construction.
More than 5,300 drawings related to various structures have been submitted by contractors to the NHSRCL, and geo-technical investigation has been completed at 785 locations and test pile casting has been completed at six locations, the officials said. Construction work is currently ongoing at 10 sites.
The officials said that the contract award for remaining 8% of the alignment and three remaining stations in Gujarat is expected to be awarded by end of this year and work for the Sabarmati rolling stock depot will be awarded early next year. Track construction work for 237 km is also expected to be awarded by the last quarter of this year and remaining track works in Gujarat by early next year.
Work in Maharashtra is limited to land acquisition and utility shifting. The major hindrance for contract award in the Maharashtra part of the alignment is land availability as at least 80% of the land has to be made available before any of the work can be awarded, the officials said.
Mumbai–Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project is India’s first high-speed rail line connecting Mumbai with Ahmedabad with route length of 508 km. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 but has been delayed due to land acquisition issues particularly in Maharashtra and the Covid-19 pandemic with now expected to become fully operational by 2027 with some portions in Gujarat to become operational by 2023.