With the Maharashtra government having reportedly agreed to spare land at the Bandra-Kurla complex to build the underground station of India’s first bullet train line from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, the Indian Railways have set in process the task of conducting environmental and social impact studies.
“Consultants for carrying out these surveys will be appointed within the next few months”, senior ministry officials said.
Final location surveys have already been completed, while the National High Speed Rail Corporation can also expected to become functional this year, officials added.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded high speed corridor – once complete - will enable trains to run at maximum speeds of 350 kilometers per hour; reducing travel time between the two cities from the current seven to two hours.
After months of negotiations, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has reportedly overcome its reservations about allocating land for construction of an underground station for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line at the identified location, officials said, adding that the Railways would get 10 acres of the total of 67 acres available at Bandra-Kurla.
The MMRDA had been reluctant to spare land for the bullet train project on account of apprehensions that this would compromise its plans to build an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at the location.
Meanwhile, with authorities having decided to build the entire corridor as an elevated stretch, the cost of the project – scheduled for completion in 2024 – has climbed from the original Rs. 97,636 crore to Rs. 1,08, 000 crore.
Twelve stations – with maximum stoppages of two minutes at Ahmedabad and Anand – have been proposed on the line, which will be built on the internationally accepted “Standard Gauge”.