Logistics

NITI Aayog reviews bullet train project

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on February 19, 2017

Soil testing on for undersea stretch

The NITI Aayog has reviewed the progress of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project for which the groundbreaking ceremony will take place during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this year.

The meeting, chaired by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya and attended by a 20-member Japanese delegation last week, decided to expedite preliminary work and obtain environmental clearances. This was fourth meeting on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project.

Consultant hired

A NITI Aayog official, who attended the meeting, said, “A general consultant from Japan has started working on the project since December. The next step will be to do environment impact assessment (EIA),” the official said.

He said onground construction for the project will commence by the end of 2018 and the train service is likely to be operational from 2023.

The high speed railway line between the two prominent cities in Western India is expected to cover 508 km in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph.

Estimated to cost about ₹97,636 crore, 81 per cent of the funding for the project will come by way of a loan from Japan.

While most part of the corridor is proposed to be on the elevated track, there will be a stretch after Thane creek towards Virar which will go under the sea as per the detailed project report by JICA.

Undersea route

Drilling of the 7-km undersea route of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail corridor is under way to ascertain soil condition. Passengers will get the thrill of riding under the sea, a first in the country, near Thane at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour.

“Soil and rocks below the 70-metre-deep see are being tested as part of the geo-technical and geo-physical investigation undertaken for the entire project,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding that “the test will also cover the 21-km-long underground tunnel between Thane and Virar.”

Barring the tunnel, most part of the 508-km-long corridor is proposed to be on the elevated track while there will be a stretch after Thane creek towards Virar which will go under the sea as per the detailed project report by JICA, the funding agency of the project.

Railways opted for an elevated corridor to avoid land acquisitions and the need to build underpasses. The tunnel was necessitated to protect the thick vegetation in that area, said the official.

The geo investigation is crucial for the project as it would ascertain the bearing capacity of the soil below 70 feet at the sea.

Published on February 19, 2017
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