The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) on Thursday signed a contract with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for the construction of 237 km of viaduct and other installations for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. At Rs 24,985 crore, this is the country’s biggest infrastructure contract for design.
The company will finish the job in four years, L&T’s CEO and Managing Director S N Subrahmanyan said at the contract-signing ceremony in presence of Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki, Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav and National High Speed Rail Corporation MD Achal Khare. “It is one of the largest contracts ever in India and certainly the largest for L&T,” Subramanyan said.
The company has also bagged the second contract for 88 km, making a combined 325 km of construction and design to be done by the Indian construction major. India and Japan had earlier agreed that civil construction work for the bullet train would be done by Indian firms. The 508-km bullet train project will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad with trains running at 320 km per hour.
“I’m quite confident it would be completed in the defined timeframe,” Yadav said. “With this the work for the bullet train has started.”
The 237 km of construction involves making the viaduct between Vapi in the Maharashtra-Gujarat border and Vadodara. It includes four stations, and a depot. The tender was finalised in 35 days, Yadav said.
The construction company would employ around 15,000 labourers and high-tech machinery to construct the alignment. The piers, it said, would be double the size of that of metro. No Indian company has ever constructed viaduct for bullet train before. “The company and NHSRCL would be jointly starting work on the ground in a couple of days,” Khare said.
The bullet train project is facing delays thanks to lack of desired progress in Maharashtra. However, in Gujarat, the process of land acquisition is in full swing and official said it would be on time.
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