Test drills for the construction of India’s first undersea bullet train route has commenced, reported the Economic Times. Stretching over 7km, this route will be a part of India’s first bullet train project, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. The construction of the corridor is expected to begin in 2018.
Once built, the underwater passage will considerably reduce the distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and will give passengers the thrill of riding under the sea at a speed of 350km per hour. But before the construction begins, extensive tests will be performed to identify the nature of the soil and the rock strata, and to know if the site can support the structure. A senior railway ministry official said,
Soil and rocks below the 70-metre-deep sea are being tested as part of the geo-technical and geo-physical investigation undertaken for the entire project. The test will also cover the 21-km-long underground tunnel between Thane and Virar.
While a large section of the 508km-long corridor will be on elevated track, the entire stretch will have multiple underground and underwater passages. An elevated corridor has been chosen to prevent extra cost incurred in building underpasses and acquiring land.
In December 2016, the railway ministry and National High-Speed Rail Corporation (HNSRC) signed a tripartite pact with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the development of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. The project will be completed at a cost of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore. Japan has agreed to fund 80 per cent of the project through a soft loan of Rs 79,000 crore.
Note: The copy has been updated to more accurately describe the nature of drilling being undertaken.
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