The deadline for the completion of the high speed rail route between Mumbai and Gujarat's Ahmedabad, popularly called the bullet train project, can be fixed only after assessment of delay in land acquisition in Maharashtra and COVID-19 impact, railway officials have said in reply to an RTI plea.
The reply from the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) to the Thane-based activists Right to Information Act plea was received on Monday.
The NHSRCL's reply stated that a special purpose vehicle was helming the project and the targeted completion year was 2023, adding that a timeline for commissioning (throwing the service open to commuters) can be fixed only after assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown as well as land acquisition pace in Maharashtra.
Statutory clearances connected to issues like wildlife, coastal regulation zone and forests have been received, and the total expenditure incurred so far on the Rs 1.10 lakh crore project was Rs 26,872 crore, it added.
"Joint measure survey (JMS) for all 297 villages has been completed. Out of total land requirement of approximately 1,396 hectares, a total of 1,248 hectares has been acquired. Of the total 1,651 utilities coming in the way, 1,506 have been shifted," it said.
Civil work on the 352-kilometre stretch in Gujarat and Dadra Nagar Havel and Daman and Diu has started from December 2020, the RTI reply said.
The 508-kilometre HSR corridor will have 12 stations, comprising Mumbai (BKC), Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Billimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
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