Designs and alignment plans of the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor are being tweaked, following the Maharashtra government’s refusal to spare land at the Bandra-Kurla complex to build the originating station.
The Devendra Fadnavis government has suggested that the station be located at the alternative location at Bandra Reclamation.
India’s entry into the high speed rail club is also likely to come at a higher price, with an inter-ministerial committee headed by Niti Ayog vice chairman Arvind Pangariya having recommended that the line be built entirely as an elevated corridor.
Preliminary estimates on the cost impact on account of the relocation of the originating station at Mumbai are likely to be made available at the August 30 meeting of the board of directors of the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC).
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – which is financing the project – estimates that the decision for a complete elevated corridor could push up overall project cost to approximately Rs 1,07,000 crore. Initial estimates had placed this figure are Rs 96,000 crore.
Although the railways need only 4.5 hectares underground and .9 hectares at surface level, the Maharashtra government has expressed serious reservations on compliance on grounds that this could compromise it’s plans to build an international financial centre at Bandra-Kurla Complex.
It owns a total of 28 hectares at the location.
The Pangariya-led committee has suggested that the locating the station at Bandra-Kurla could actually benefit the planned financial centre.