Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train Project: Indian Railways’ first high-speed rail corridor project is expected to be completed on time, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a PTI report quoted Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav as saying. The high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad has a deadline of December 2023. But the country’s first bullet train project has had to contend with various issues including, protests by landowners, the rising cost of the project because of the widening gap between the Japanese yen and the Indian rupee, as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is granting a 20-year loan of 80 per cent of the Rs 1 trillion amount that is needed to fund the project. The bullet train corridor project is being executed by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL).
According to the report, NHSRCL has floated 68 per cent of the project’s civil works tenders covering a distance of 345 kilometres out of a total of 508 kilometres along with a separate tender for the fabrication of as many as 28 steel bridges in Maharashtra for the Bullet Train corridor. According to the NHSRCL, the joint measurement survey of the land needed for the high-speed rail project is almost on the verge of completion. The corporation has already acquired 60 per cent land required for the corridor (around 77 per cent land in Gujarat, 80 per cent land in Dadar Nagar Haveli and 22 per cent land in Maharashtra).
According to the Railway Board Chairman, the physical work on the bullet train project is yet to begin. However, at present, the tendering process is on and the process of land acquisition is underway, he said. To solve the bidders’ query, a pre-bid meeting was also arranged through video conferencing during the lockdown period, Yadav informed.
With speeds of over 300 km per hour, the high-speed rail will drastically reduce the travel time. It is being said that the bullet train will reduce the rail journey time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to just two hours.