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India's first Bullet Train to be ready by 2026, to run at Ahmedabad-Mumbai route: Railway Minister

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said they are confident of running the country's first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat by 2026, reports PTI. 

India's first Bullet Train to be ready by 2026, to run at Ahmedabad-Mumbai route: Railway Minister

Indian Railways has been completing projects at a fast pace to provide its passengers with all the comfort and convenience. Hence, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is confident that India will achieve its target of running the country's first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in 2026 as good progress has been made in this direction.

Vaishnaw was in Surat to inspect the progress of the government's ambitious Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project. There has been good progress in the construction of infrastructure for the bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and the work is being done at a high speed.

"We are keeping the target of running the first bullet train between Surat and Bilimora in 2026. The progress is very good, and we are confident of running the train by that time," he told reporters. Bilimora is a town in the Navsari district of south Gujarat.

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Over 90 percent of the total land required for the ambitious Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli has been acquired, the project's implementing agency NHSRCL said on June 6.

The high-speed bullet train is expected to cover the 508-km journey from Ahmedabad to Mumbai in 2 hours and 58 minutes, as against the current travel time of over six hours. Out of 1,396-hectare land required for the project, 1,260.76 hectares, or 90.31 percent, have been acquired as of June 5, said the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), the special purpose vehicle formed to implement the project.

As per details shared by the NHSRCL in a release, 98.79 percent of the land required for the project in Gujarat has been acquired, while in neighbouring Maharashtra, the figure stands at 71.49 percent. Besides, all the land required for the stretch covering the Dadra and Nagar Haveli has been acquired, it said.

At 954.28 hectares, Gujarat accounts for the majority of the land required for the project, covering eight districts of Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, and Ahmedabad. Of this, 942.72 hectares have been acquired, the NHSRCL said.

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In Maharashtra, the project covers Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar, requiring 433.82-hectare land, out of which 310.14 hectare has been acquired so far. For the project stretch covering Dadra and Nagar Haveli, all the 7.90-hectare land has been acquired, the agency said.

As per the NHSRCL, the construction works are in various stages on all eight stations for the bullet train project in Gujarat, and 100 percent contracts have been awarded for the construction of the 352-km route in the state and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The passenger terminal hub at Sabarmati, integrating the high-speed rail station, Metro, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System, and two stations of the Indian Railways, is expected to be completed by August this year, it said. There will be 12 stations along the route of the bullet train, including eight in Gujarat and four in Maharashtra.

Its operational control centre will be located at Sabarmati in Ahmedabad. There will be three depots, - at Surat and Sabarmati in Gujarat and Thane in Maharashtra. The foundation stone of the project, which received a soft loan of Rs 88,000 crore from a Japanese agency, was laid on September 14, 2017, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The Rs 1.10 lakh crore project was then expected to be completed by 2022 but faced land acquisition hurdles. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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