Lagging behind target, the bullet train project has achieved 37.02 per cent progress against the scheduled target of 40.08 per cent, a shortfall of 3.06 per cent till September 2023.
Blaming the monsoon, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) maintains that the progress of works on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor was hampered during the month due to the rainy season.
As far as financial progress is concerned, 41.78 per cent has been achieved, with an expenditure of Rs 50,417.37 crore incurred and spending of Rs 2,321.03 crore upto 30 September 2023.
The total expenditure in FY 2023-24, until September, is Rs 8,235.12 crore.
Since the first high speed rail project is behind the schedule for more than five years with the estimated cost escalation touching over Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the focus is now being shifted for phased commissioning in Vapi-Sabarmati section in Gujarat by August 2027, which seems very unlikely.
Among other factors responsible for the slow progress, NHSRCL also highlighted that the delay in tendering in Maharashtra was due to late land acquisition, in its monthly progress report.
However, NHSRCL claims that all three civil contracts have been awarded as land acquisition is now almost completed for the project.
While the land acquisition is 100 per cent in both Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, it is 99.83 per cent in Maharashtra.
The NHSRCL monthly report also points out the delay in invitation of tenders for system and rolling stock because of delay from Japanese side. Since the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor is being funded by JICA, NHSRCL is bound to move along with the Japanese team.
NHSRCL also pointed out Covid-related delay in equipment mobilisation, due to port congestion.
According to the monthly report, track contracts have been awarded for an aggregate length of 352 km. Engineering, procurement, training, factory construction, track bed and track slab construction are also under progress, the report states.
In Gujarat, 313.78 km of pile and 232.88 km pier work have been completed, while 6.60 km girder launching has been completed and a total 90.84 km girder launching has been achieved so far.
28 crossings over national and state highways, irrigation canals and railways are to be bridged by long span steel structures. Fabrication for five bridges is completed and is under progress for 10 bridges.
According to the NHSRCL, the Japanese side has agreed to place early orders for the long lead signal and telecom equipment like ATC, EI, track circuits, point machine accessories, cab radio, etc. for all the 12 stations of the high speed rail corridor.
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