All high-speed trains planned to connect to Mumbai are running slow. Apart from land issues in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, the railways have still not finalized plans to connect Mumbai-Nagpur and Mumbai-Hyderabad rail routes.
On Sunday, the top boss of Railway bureaucrats, the Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board, VK Tripathi, gave little information about the progress of these high-speed rail projects.
Coincidentally, on April 30, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) awarded contract for the design, supply and construction of tracks for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train corridor. This work will take place between Vadodara and Sabarmati at an approximate cost of Rs 3,141 crore using the ballast-less slab track system as used in Japanese HSR (Shinkansen).
In Gujarat, 99 per cent of land has been acquired for the project, while in Maharashtra, according to VK Tripathi, 60 per cent of land has been acquired. “In Maharashtra, the land acquisition process has sped up. Yes, there have been issues but in the last 2-3 months, things are moving faster,” he said.
The railway officials claim that they have managed to construct 13 km of route although they expected 10 km only. The railways claim that they are in touch with the Maharashtra government to sort things out, including the issue of acquiring land in Bandra Kurla Complex where the Bullet Train would terminate. The BKC is the starting point of this 508-km rail line and the tunnels till Shilphata will be more than 21-km-long.
The other two bullet rail networks of Mumbai-Nagpur and Mumbai-Hyderabad too are moving slowly. Top railway officials have said that the detailed project report for the two high-speed rail routes is being prepared though it hasn’t been sanctioned yet.
Earlier last month, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had stated that the state would benefit from the Mumbai-Nagpur route.