Struggling with land acquisition process in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led Maharashtra, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) on Thursday (4 March) said that Gujarat leg of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train corridor may be opened first, reports Economic Times.
Thanking the people and government of Gujarat for cooperation, NHSRCL’s managing director Achal Khare informed that while 95 per cent of the required land for the 352-kilometre-long stretch in Gujarat has been acquired. He further said that only about 23 per cent of the land has been acquired for the 156-kilometre-long stretch in Maharashtra.
Khare emphasised that the entire bullet train corridor could be opened together only if 70-80 per cent of the land is acquired in Maharashtra in the next three months. Else, the Gujarat leg will be opened in the first phase and the Maharashtra leg will be opened in the second phase.
“There are many issues over land acquisition in Maharashtra. We are in talks with our Japanese counterparts to open the Gujarat phase of the project first,” Khare was quoted as saying.
Khare also emphasised that the original 2023 deadline for the project was no longer feasible and that the civil works on the Gujarat-end were expected to be completed by 2024. It should be noted that contracts worth Rs 32,500 crore have already been awarded for the construction of a 325-kilometre-long stretch and five stations in Gujarat.