'80% designing of bullet train bridges, tunnels completed'
Shimla: The work on the country's first high speed bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is on in full swing with the designing of bridges and tunnels progressing well, a senior official has said.
A process has also been initiated to acquire land for the project, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had last year launched the ambitious project, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
The high speed train would cover the distance of over 500 km between the two cities in less than three hours, from the present seven hours.
The train will halt at 12 stations, out of which four fall in Maharashtra.
Japan has extended a soft loan for the project, which is a joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan's Shinkansen Technology.
Almost 80 per cent work of designing of the bridges, viaducts and tunnels has been completed by engineers based in Delhi, Mumbai and Japan, said Achal Khare, managing director of the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC), which is implementing the project.
The proposed corridor will start from the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai and end near the Sabarmati Railway Station in Ahmedabad.
The works of surveying the route and soil testing are underway, Khare said.
The preliminary work of acquiring land in both the states has also begun, he said.
"Our route passes through 108 villages of Maharashtra.
A majority of these villages fall in Palghar district. We have issued a notice to acquire land in 17 villages and informed the land owners about it," Khare said.
Those who give their land will be compensated over and above the current prevailing market rates. Those who do not turn up, their lands will be acquired under section 19 of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, he said.
The NHSRC has earmarked Rs 10,000 crore for the purpose, he mentioned.
The entire project will be fire and earthquake resistant. Seismometers (a ground motion detection centre) will be installed in the earthquake susceptible areas while the wind monitor systems will also be put up, he said.
"The speed of the train will depend upon the velocity of the wind, and in case of wind blowing at 30 metres per second, the train operation will be stopped," Khare said.
"Though the entire 508-km corridor will be foolproof, however, we are focusing on a strong evacuation system and in case of any eventuality, a relief car will arrive
within eight to 10 minutes,"