THE NATIONAL High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) will float the first tender for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project by June this year. The authorities aim to start civil work on one station by then as well. Of the 12 stations along the proposed bullet train corridor, four stations — Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Thane, Virar and Boisar — are located in Mumbai. While a preliminary survey of the site has been conducted, authorities aim to start civil work on one station this year.
“We are to acquire land at some of the locations. We hope to receive sanctions in the coming three months. As soon as the land is acquired, civil work can commence on the project after tendering is complete. We will also take time to employ the workforce, train them. Thus, we have fixed the deadline of June to officially commence work on the site,” said Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson, NHSRCL.
A 21-km tunnel will be dug under the Thane creek to lay the route. “There will be altogether nine tunnels along the route. We are utilising the Shinkansen E-5 series of coaches, which will include economy and executive-class coaches,” Kumar added.
Kumar said while the technology will be borrowed from Japan, the coaches are likely to be manufactured in the country. “We aim to make the coaches in the country under the Make In India initiative. Coach units could be set up in Mumbai but we have not decided upon it. A preliminary survey report of the stations has been prepared and awaits sanction from the East Japan Railway company that makes the E-5 coaches,” Kumar added.
The economy class coach in the E5 series has a 3+2 seating configuration. The executive class has a 2+2 seating configuration with comfortable cushioned seats. The seating capacity of the bullet train would be around 750 passengers and later increased to 1,250, as more coaches are added.
A group of farmers from Boisar in Palghar district have opposed the project in the past fearing acquisition of land. “During our visits, we realised farmers hold certain misconceptions about the project. As it will be elevated corridors, we will require a portion of their land for raising the pillars. They also think they will have to relocate due to the project, which is untrue. We have decided to sit with them at length and clear their misconceptions about the project,” Kumar added.
Two types of high-speed train services will operate on the route —one will be a rapid high-speed train and the second, a high-speed train. The rapid high-speed trains will halt at specific stations whereas the high-speed train will halt at three stations. The first service of the train is expected to begin from August 15, 2022 when India completes 50 years of Independence.