More than a year after laying the foundation stone of the bullet train project, on-ground work near Thane is expected to begin in January 2019. The National High Speed Rail Corridor Limited (NHSRCL), the executing agency of the 508-km bullet train corridor project, will be procuring boring machines for construction of the underground tunnel. The boring machines will be placed for the sea-bed work in Vikhroli, in Mumbai. Further, the station design of major stations has been prepared by the high speed corridor.
“The undersea tunnel will be major and critical work, which we aim to begin first. The tenders will be floated in November and boring work will begin by January 2019,” said Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson of NHSRCL.
Of the 508-km alignment connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, 155.76-km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04-km in Gujarat and 4.3-km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Around 26 villages in Thane district will also have to be displaced for the project.
The Joint Measurement Survey (JMS) of the land in Thane has been completed and process of land acquisition is likely to start soon. However, the implementing agency continues to face strong opposition in Palghar over land acquisition, as 109.06-km of the corridor will pass through the district.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had laid the foundation stone of the PM’s pet project on September 14, 2017.
The work on the underground sea tunnel is critical and had already begun in December 2017, wherein a team of engineers from NHSRCL, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RTIES) Ltd, and Japan’s Kawasaki Geological Engineering studied the data on the seabed, based on geo-technical surveys. The survey was conducted to understand the structure and depth of the seabed of the Thane Creek in December 2017 and based on the report, the alignment of the tunnel was fixed.
Further, the NHSRCL is also in process of completion of the station designs of the 12 stations between BKC in Maharashtra and Sabarmati in Gujarat.
Station designs for BKC, Sabarmati, Baroda, Surat, Vapi and Billimora are completed; station designs for Maharashtra are going on. According to the proposed exterior, Surat railway station will have a diamond-shaped entrance, whereas the exterior of the Sabarmati station will be based on the Dandi March.
The bullet train stations will have two floors. The first floor will have concourse and the second floor will have two platforms. Meanwhile, BKC and Sabarmati railway stations will be called as the hub and will have four platforms each.