New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on 4th February 2021 said that a new completion schedule for India's first Bullet Train project Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor will be worked out as the original completion deadline of 2023 may not be met due to delay in land acquisition for the project in Maharashtra.
He said that the Indian railway was committed to launch the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train in 2023 but there have been massive delays in land acquisition in Maharashtra for the bullet train. He has held many round talks with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey. The Railway Ministry is also in constant touch with Maharashtra government officials.
He further said that due to the delays in Maharashtra which was delaying the entire project, we have at least started the tendering process on the Gujarat side. Tender award of Vapi-Ahmedabad stretch has been initiated and the civil work will be commenced soon. He said that once there is clarity on the land acquisition for the bullet train project in Maharashtra, the central government will be able to confirm the end date of the project.
According to National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), Maharashtra has acquired only 101.04 hectares of land out of the total 432 hectares to be acquired in the state for the bullet train project. No land for the project has been acquired as of the date in the Mumbai suburb out of the total 4.82 hectares needed to be acquired. However, 94 percent of the land acquisition has been achieved in Gujarat for the project. The state has acquired 901.86 hectares of the total 956.15 hectares needed for the project in the state.
Speaking on the budgetary provisions for Indian Railways, Piyush Goyal said:
The General Budget 2021 has been historic for Indian Railways. It has focussed on infrastructure projects in Indian Railways. The highest capital expenditure for Indian Railways will act as a huge catalyst to revitalise the economy and lead the Indian Railways towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project is being funded with a loan from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total project cost is to the tune of Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
For more details, please explore the "Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail" page of Urban Transport News.