Work on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project – the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train – is expected to finish a year before its projected completion date.
The civil work on the 508 km Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor (MAHSR) has reportedly been fast-tracked to begin in June in a bid to meet a completion deadline of August 15, 2022, which marks 75 years of India’s independence.
The initial deadline was August 2023.
“Geo-technical surveys have already been done and civil works will begin in June 2018 after we receive the green signal for the entire corridor,” an official of the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) told the Times of India.
The tests for the underground section of the project, extending from Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to Boisar, have already been completed. A 21 km tunnel, a third of which will be under the sea, will be dug under the Thane creek to lay the route.
The civil work for the project will commence after the land acquisition and tendering process is complete. The project is already facing some opposition from farmers in Palghar district, who have opposed the acquisition of land.
NHSRCL spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, however, clarified that the opposition was in due to certain misconceptions about the project, which will be resolved after a sit down with the affected farmers.
Once complete, the bullet train will bring down the travel time from the current eight hours to around two hours. The corridor will have 12 stations, four of which will be in Mumbai.
The bullet train will seat 750 passengers initially. More coaches will be added later, which will increase the carrying capacity to 1,250.
Prime Minister Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone for the country’s first high-speed bullet train in September last year.