At least 1,374.20 hectares has been acquired for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, famous as bullet train, accounting for nearly 99% of the total land required, according to the Union Ministry of Railways documents .The bullet train will pass through Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra, with 100% of land acquired in the Union Territory.
In Gujarat, 943.53 Ha out of 954.3 Ha has been acquired, accounting for 98.87% of the total land required in the state. In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the entire 7.90 Ha land and in Maharashtra, 422.77 Ha out of 430.45 Ha (98.2%) has been acquired, according to the ministry’s document, issued last week.
The total land required for the project is 1,392.63 Ha. “Approximately 1,374.20 Ha (98.68%) land has been acquired,” the document reads. Until July approximately 1,264 Ha (90.5%) land was acquired.
“The total cost of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project was estimated as Rs 1,08,000 crore in 2015. The final project cost will be ascertained only after completion of land acquisition, finalisation of all contract packages and associated timelines,” the ministry said.
Up to October 31, 2022, an expenditure of Rs 32,937 crore has been incurred on the MAHSR Project. The document further said the cost of systems and rolling stock will be known after award of contract.
According to the Ministry, 81% cost of the MAHSR Project is being funded by the government of Japan and remaining cost is being provided through the Equity by the shareholders — Government of India (Ministry of Railways) (50%), Government of Gujarat (25%) and Government of Maharashtra (25%).
The project, being executed by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), is targeted to be completed by December, 2023. However, several factors are impacting the project growth, including pace of land acquisition by state government, shifting of infringing utilities, law and order situation, statutory clearances, encountering unforeseen circumstances, litigation in courts, climatic conditions and others.
“The execution of MAHSR Project has been delayed especially due to land acquisition in Maharashtra and consequent delays in finalisation of contracts as well as adverse impact of Covid-19,” an official told News18, demanding anonymity.
High speed trains on MAHSR will operate at a speed of 320 km/hr covering a distance of 508 km and 12 stations. There will be 35 trains per day/one direction, with a frequency of 20 minutes in peak hours and 30 minutes in non-peak hours. It is a limited stop project and operational control centre for MAHSR corridor will be located at Sabarmati. The official said a survey for a High Speed Rail Corridor between Delhi and Ahmedabad passing through Rajasthan is underway.
Last month, the NHSRCL floated a tender for about 135 km stretch in Maharashtra — that is the final stretch of the project in the state. The tender included work for viaducts and bridges, maintenance depot, tunnels, earth structures and stations – Thane, Virar and Boisar between Shilphata and Zaroli. The tenders for work in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have already been floated and work is underway.
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 balance five packages NIT is yet to be published.
The MAHSR project is mostly elevated. At least 475 km length of the project will be viaduct (River/Road/Rail) while about 26 km will be in eight tunnels. Other earth structures will be about 7 km long. There will be 12 stations and three depots in the project. The overall length of the project in Maharashtra is 156 km and 348 km in Gujarat. The UT has 4 km.
The commencement of work on the country’s first bullet train started in September 2017 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Japanese Prime Minister late Shinzo Abe jointly laid the foundation stone for the project.