NHSRCL signs a contract with the Japan International Consultants Consortium

National High-Speed ​​Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has signed a contract with Japan International Consultants Consortium on June 3, 2022 for design-related consultancy services for the construction phase of the Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed ​​Rail project ( MAHSR). The consortium includes Japan International Consultants for Transportation Co. Ltd. (JIC), Nippon Koei Co. Ltd. and Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global).

Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed ​​Rail (MAHSR)

Currently, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed ​​Rail (MAHSR) is the only sanctioned high-speed rail project in the country. The project is carried out with financial and technical assistance from the Government of Japan.

The country’s first high-speed train, a nickname the train derives from its bullet-shaped shape and speed, will cross the landscape of western India, covering a distance of 508.17 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in just two hours. This will save time compared to the current travel time between the two terminal stations of around nine hours (by bus) or six hours (by conventional rail).

The state-of-the-art high-speed train, running on Japanese Shinkansen technology, will run at a speed of 320 km per hour, more than double that of India’s fastest train – the Gatiman Express which travels at 160 km/ h.

The full Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train route will have 12 stations, including eight in Gujarat and four in Maharashtra. Gujarat stations include –Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati, and Maharashtra stations include Mumbai (BKC), Thane, Virar and Boisar.

National High-Speed ​​Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL)

NHSRCL was incorporated on 12th February 2016 under the Companies Act 2013 for the purpose of financing, constructing, maintaining and managing the High Speed ​​Rail Corridor in India.

The company was modeled as a “special purpose vehicle” in the joint sector with equity participation from the central government through the Ministry of Railways and two state governments viz. Government of Gujarat and Government of Maharashtra.

Project update

According to the Ministry of Railways, all regulatory clearances relating to wildlife, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and deforestation have been obtained for the project. Out of a total of 1,396 hectares of land required for the MAHSR project, approximately 89%, approximately 1,248 hectares have been acquired.

In the state of Maharashtra, 68.65% of the 297.81 hectares of land required for the high-speed rail project has been acquired. In the state of Gujarat, 98.76% of the land of the 954.28 hectares required for the project has been acquired. The central government has acquired 100% of the required 7.9 hectares of land in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The project is divided into 27 contract lots, including the Training Institute in Vadodara. At present, 13 lots have been awarded, three are being evaluated, and a notice of invitation to tender (NIT) has been launched for two lots, according to the ministry.

Project execution

The project has encountered a roadblock on the Maharashtra side due to land acquisition issues, but works have already started on the Gujarat side of the project.

In 2021, the first contract for the project was awarded for track works between Vapi and Vadodara. Over the total length of 352 km of the project located in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, all civil works and track works contracts have been awarded, with track works worth Rs 3,141 crore being given to the giant infra L&T.

As for Maharashtra, there are some issues in land acquisition in Mumbai BKC. Once the land acquisition process is complete, NHSRCL will launch a tender over the next six months.

The trial for the whole Gujarat section of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor will start in 2026 and the services for people will be rolled out by 2027, said SC Agnihotri, Managing Director of NHSRCL.

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Jose P. Rogers