The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in a joint venture with Ahmedabad-based Dineshchandra R Agrawal (DRA) Infracon has emerged as the lowest bidder to construct Thane Depot of the 508.17-km Mumbai – Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project.
Four companies, including KEC International Ltd - a global infrastructure EPC major and an RPG Group Company, construction conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T), DRA-DMRC JV, and SCC-PREMCO JV, were in contention to construct the Thane Depot for the bullet train project.
Earlier in December 2022, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) had invited tenders to construct the Thane Depot in Maharashtra with a construction deadline of five and a half years.
The scope of the contract package (MAHSR D-1) includes civil works, building works, inspection sheds, maintenance depot, and installation, testing, and commissioning of maintenance facilities, and other associated works in the Thane depot.
An essential ingredient for the successful running of a high-speed railway is a well-developed and advanced maintenance system. To this end, three depots have been planned for the project - two in Gujarat at Sabarmati and Surat and one in Maharashtra at Thane.
In December 2022, the NHSRCL awarded a work order valued at JPY 63 billion (approximately Rs 3,773.79 crore) to a consortium comprising the Japanese firm Sojitz Corporation and L&T to construct the Sabarmati Depot.
The construction of the rail depot in Sabarmati, situated northwest of Ahmedabad, Gujarat's largest city, has commenced, with an anticipated completion date in 2028.
Also, the smallest depot of the project, located in Surat and spanning 38 hectares, is already under construction as part of the scope of works for 237.1 km civil Package C4.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) is currently the only sanctioned high-speed rail in the country.
The high-speed rail operating at 320 km/h will traverse along west India’s landscape, covering 508.17 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in just about two hours. This will save time compared to current travel time between the two terminal stations by about nine hours (by bus) or six hours (by conventional railways).
The country’s first ‘bullet’ train, a nickname the train gets from its bullet-like shape and speed, will pass through Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Maharashtra, with 12 stations en route.
The project is being funded with a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total project cost is Rs 1.1 lakh crore, slated to increase more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore due to delay.
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