Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project Completion Date Uncertain, Pending Land Acquisition in Maharashtra

India's first bullet train project faces delays due to land acquisition challenges in Maharashtra, but the Railways Ministry remains committed to its completion by 2026, showcasing the critical role of land acquisition in large infrastructure projects.

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Dil Bar Irshad
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Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project Completion Date Uncertain, Pending Land Acquisition in Maharashtra

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project Completion Date Uncertain, Pending Land Acquisition in Maharashtra

The completion date for India's first bullet train project, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (MAHSRP), remains undecided as the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) cites pending land acquisition in Maharashtra as a key obstacle. In a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) request, the Indian Railways stated that the project's timeline is contingent upon the completion of land acquisition in the state.

Initially slated for December 2023, the 508 km-long high-speed rail corridor has encountered significant setbacks due to land acquisition challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Railways Ministry declared the completion of the first phase, a 50-km stretch between Surat and Bilimora, by August 2026, a substantial portion of the project, particularly rail track installation, remains pending as of April 6, 2024.

According to the NHSRCL's RTI response, the completion date can only be ascertained once all necessary contracts have been awarded. As of March 28, 2024, progress has been made in certain aspects of the project, with 163 km of viaduct, 302 km of piers, and 323 km of foundations constructed. However, the absence of laid rail tracks underscores the intricacy and difficulties inherent in executing a project of this scale.

Why this matters: The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project represents a significant advancement in India's transportation infrastructure and is positioned to transform intercity travel, particularly in the regions of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The project's delays and uncertainties highlight the critical role of land acquisition in the timely execution of large-scale infrastructure projects in India.

The bullet train, envisaged to operate at a maximum speed of 320 km/h, aims to cover the distance between Mumbai and Sabarmati in 2 hours and 58 minutes, including stoppage time at all 10 stations along the route. The project, with an estimated cost of ₹1,08,000 crore, has faced hurdles in acquiring the necessary land in Maharashtra, with the first civil contract for the state's portion awarded only in March 2023.

Despite the challenges, the Indian Railways remains committed to the project's completion. As stated by the Railways Minister, "India is geared up to run its first bullet train by 2026." The project will feature ballastless tracks and anemometers installed at 14 key locations across Gujarat and Maharashtra to ensure the highest safety standards.

Key Takeaways

  • India's first bullet train project delayed due to land acquisition issues in Maharashtra.
  • Completion date uncertain, contingent on awarding of all contracts and land acquisition.
  • Project progress includes 163 km viaduct, 302 km piers, 323 km foundations, but no laid tracks.
  • Bullet train to cover Mumbai-Sabarmati in 2 hrs 58 mins at 320 km/h, cost ₹1.08 lakh crore.
  • India aims to run its first bullet train by 2026 with highest safety standards.