Rajendra Prasad, the managing director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), stated on Wednesday (21 December) that the organisation would try to operate high-speed trains in Gujarat by the end of August 2027.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail will pass through states of Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra.
The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) was established on 12 February 2016, in accordance with the Companies Act, 2013, with the purpose of financing, constructing, maintaining, and operating the High-Speed Rail Corridor in India.
The Company has been modelled as a "Special Purpose Vehicle" in the joint sector, with equity involvement from two state governments, namely the Governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra, as well as the Central Government through the Ministry of Railways.
According to a report in PTI, as per the shareholding pattern, the central government is to pay Rs 10,000 crore to NHSRCL, the implementing agency of the project, while the two states involved — Gujarat and Maharashtra — are to pay Rs 5,000 crore each.
Japan will pay the rest through a loan at 0.1 per cent interest. As of now:
In Gujarat, 943.53 hectares out of 954.3 hectares has been acquired, accounting for 98.87 per cent of the total land required in the state.
In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the entire 7.90 hectares land has been acquired.
In Maharashtra, 422.77 hectares land out of 430.45 hectares (98.2 per cent) has been acquired.
In Maharashtra, the project runs through Thane, Palghar, and Mumbai. A tender is issued, and the civil engineering work in Maharashtra will shortly begin.
The project was sanctioned in December 2015 at an estimated cost of Rs 108,000 crore with 80 per cent Japanese funding as an easy loan.
Regarding the India-Japan partnership on the project, Prasad told ANI, "The Japan Shinkansen train has a track record of safety. It has zero fatalities. The quality of Japan is well-known worldwide. In Japan, our engineers will also undergo training.
“There are indigenous parts that are being used in the construction of rail projects and it is a proud moment for the country. The 220 kms of piling is completed. We are working 24 hours. We are confident that by June 2026 the Surat-to-Bilimora trial run will be done.”
Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR)
Presently, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail is the only sanctioned high-speed rail project in the country. The project is being executed with the financial and technical assistance from the government of Japan.
The country’s first ‘bullet’ train, a nickname the train gets from its bullet-like shape and speed, 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 entire route of Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train will have 12 stations — eight in Gujarat and four in Maharashtra. Gujarat's stations include —Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati, and stations in Maharashtra include Mumbai (BKC), Thane, Virar and Boisar.
The entire project has been divided into 28 contract packages including Training Institute at Vadodara.
At present, 19 packages have been awarded out of which work for three packages have been completed. One package is under evaluation, Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) has been published for three packages and for the remaining five packages NIT is yet to be published.
The physical progress till 23 November was 24.1 per cent, the Ministry said, adding that while almost 30 per cent of the work has been completed in Gujarat, in Maharashtra, around 13 per cent has so far been achieved.
In Gujarat, the construction of bullet train stations has started in Anand, Surat, Vadodara, Bharuch, Bilimora, Vapi and Navsari districts.
The contract for the construction of a bullet train station at the Bandra-Kurla Complex and the one for the construction of an underground tunnel have also been allotted. Pier and girder works will soon be visible in Maharashtra like in Gujarat, officials said.
"The execution of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail has been delayed especially due to delay in land acquisition in the state of Maharashtra and consequent delays in the finalisation of contracts as well as the adverse impact of COVID-19," Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said in his written reply to a question in Lok Sabha in March.
The new government under Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is now trying to bring the country's first high-speed rail project back on track in Maharashtra.
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