India’s bullet train dream has moved a step closer. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor is expected to be the country’s first high-speed route as railways has given the green signal for a detailed study to explore the possibility of running trains at 300 km per hour.
The national transporter is expected to sign an MoU with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which will conduct the feasibility study for the corridor.
France and Japan are competing for the project. While RITES and Systra, a French firm, had carried out the pre-feasibility study of the route, the Japanese study is expected to be more detailed.
The study will be completed in 18 months and the cost will be shared by railways and JICA. The funding pattern, alignment, patronage, possible halts, fare structure and other details of the project would be examined.
The 534-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad route is expected to cost Rs 63,000 crore. Considered a key infrastructure project, the PMO is monitoring the project and has asked railways to constitute a project steering group to examine options for executing it. It is likely to be executed on PPP model where governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat are expected to be stakeholders along with railways.
Railways has identified six routes for pre-feasibility study for high speed corridors including Delhi-Agra-Patna, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi-Amritsar. TNN