The tempo of India’s journey to place on track a high-speed rail, or bullet practice, appears to have slowed down with land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad venture failing to fulfill one more deadline final week. Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde had set a September 30 deadline for finishing the land acquisition.
At the identical time, Kerala authorities’s formidable semi-high-speed SilverLine or Ok-Rail venture can also be in a limbo because of widespread protests. Last week, the Railways ministry additionally stated that the state is but to submit a number of technical paperwork.
Here’s an evaluation of the standing of deliberate and ongoing high-speed and semi-high-speed rail initiatives in India. Semi-high-speed trains are those who journey at speeds of 160-200 kmph, whereas bullet or high-speed trains journey at speeds of above 300 kmph.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail venture will cowl a stretch of 508.17 km and is estimated to price Rs 1.08 trillion – round Rs 213 crore per km. Earlier, the venture was to be commissioned by December 2023; the deadline has now been prolonged, with the primary section to be accomplished by 2026.
So far, 90-95 per cent of the 1396-hectare (ha) wanted for the venture has been acquired. The pandemic and variations between the central and the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi governments had earlier affected the tempo of land acquisition.
The venture turned one of many high priorities of the Shinde authorities, which took cost in July 2022, with the state often monitoring its progress. Civil works (together with development of stations, bridges, viaducts, upkeep depots, and tunnels) had already began on a 352-km stretch in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The three-year delay in execution is predicted to extend the deliberate venture price.
The high-speed rail will cowl 155.76 km in Maharashtra (7.04 km in Mumbai sub-urban, 39.66 km in Thane district and 109.06 km in Palghar district); 4.3 km within the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli; and 348.04 km in Gujarat. The 12 deliberate stations embody Mumbai, Thane, Virar and Boisar in Maharashtra; and Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati in Gujarat.
Besides the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail venture, seven new bullet practice initiatives price round Rs 10 trillion are in numerous phases of planning. The newly deliberate routes embody Delhi-Varanasi (865 km), Mumbai-Nagpur (753 km), Delhi-Ahmedabad (886 km), Chennai-Bengaluru (round 350 km), Delhi-Chandigarh (near 300 km), Mumbai-Hyderabad (711 km) and Varanasi-Howrah (760 km). The ultimate sanction for these new initiatives will rely on the end result of an in depth venture report, techno-economic feasibility, availability of sources and financing choices.
At current, three semi-high-speed Vande Bharat trains are running in India alongside the New Delhi-Varanasi, New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra and Ahmedabad-Mumbai route. The third one was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi final week.
In addition to this, the federal government has a goal of bringing in 475 new Vande Bharat trains by 2024-25 – 75 of them by the top of this yr. For this, the present tracks have to be uplifted.
According to former railway workers, Vande Bharat trains will be unable to clock the very best velocity of 160 kmph on any of the stretches the place they’re at present running. The velocity of those trains has been restricted to 160 kmph for now because the Railways has to improve the tracks and in addition construct fences on each side of the tracks to forestall trespassing. Work is on to boost the sectional velocity to 160 kmph on the present New Delhi-Mumbai (together with Vadodara-Ahmedabad) and New Delhi-Howrah (together with Kanpur-Lucknow) routes.
Kerala’s dream rail
Kerala has introduced a plan to have a 200-kmph semi-high-speed practice referred to as SilverLine or Ok-Rail, changing into the primary state to think about such a venture. It is, nonetheless, but to get a go-ahead from the Centre. If it materialises, it should seemingly be the primary railway line in India with public fairness participation.
Of the venture price of Rs 63,941 crore, 52.7 per cent of the loans are pegged to return from multilateral or bilateral companies. The venture has already received a nod from a number of central authorities our bodies for securing loans to the tune of $2.5 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); $1 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB); $500 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and $460 million from German improvement financial institution KfW.
However, what’s inflicting bother for the state authorities is the widespread resistance from the native folks and the Centre not giving a ultimate nod to the proposal.
Last week, the Railways ministry knowledgeable the Kerala High Court that the state is to supply an in depth venture report, together with the alignment design and the non-public and railroad properties required to implement the venture. With the Centre, too, going in opposition to it, Kerala’s dream of getting a semi-high-speed line between two of its most outstanding cities is more likely to take a while.
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