Express News Service
The construction of the country’s high speed rail corridor has been expedited and the Indian Railways has set a target of building 50 piers every month.
“High speed rail is a complex project; we need to understand that as velocity increases things change tremendously. Important point among efforts made so far is the design of the corridor according to the Indian circumstances–weather, climate and soil conditions– for 300-350 kmph (speed of the bullet train). Keeping all this in mind, the design has got completed. Piers are being made. On an average, from November onwards, 50 piers will be made every month,” said union railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while interacting with the media persons on Thursday.
The minister further said that each pillar has a separate standard for construction. “Soil testing of the site, where pillars are constructed, and their designing is done. There isn’t a standard for each pillar. Design of individual pillars is made. We have got absolutely new technology to work in the country through the bullet train project,” said Vaishnaw.
The coronavirus pandemic and land acquisition issues have impacted the construction of the 508.17 Km-long corridor connecting Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Sabarmati (Gujarat), which is passing through union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The deadline to complete the project was December 2024.
Last month, the minister announced the completion of the 50 km-long portion of the corridor between Surat and Bilimora by October 2026.
According to the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), a subsidiary of Indian Railways incorporated to manage the project, only 30 percent of total land required for the portion falling in Maharashtra has been acquired so far. An official said that until over 90 percent land is not available, construction can’t begin.
“The ministers are regularly monitoring the project themselves. Darshana Jardosh, the minister of state for railways, reviewed the ongoing work in Surat earlier this week. Land acquisition will be completed soon. 50 piers have already been built,” said the official.
During the interaction, Vaishnaw also said that beginning work in Gujarat would help to resolve land procurement issues in Maharashtra.
“We will certainly get land in Maharashtra. Ours is a federal structure, we can’t impose things. Construction of pillars in Gujarat has infused new energy in Maharashtra. I believe that work will also start there soon,” said the minister.