Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: The Indian Railways has got all the requisite wildlife, forestry and coastal regulation zone clearances in Maharashtra and Gujarat for the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor.

Addressing a virtual press conference here, Railway Board Chairman and CEO, V.K. Yadav said, "Requisite Wildlife, Forestry and Coastal Regulation Zone clearances in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra have been obtained."

Yadav said that out of 1,651 utilities, 1,070 have been shifted for the High-Speed Train Corridor.

He further added that railways have got 67 per cent of the land required for the Bullet train project. Giving the break up of land acquired in Gujarat, he said, 825 hectare out of 956 hectare have been acquired, which is 86 per cent.

While in Maharashtra, the 97 hectare out of the 432 hectare of land has been acquired, which is only 22 per cent of the total land required and seven-hectare out of eight hectare land has been acquired in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Yadav said.

Yadav further said that railways has floated the tenders worth Rs 32,000 crore in Gujarat for the ambitious project covering 325 km length of viaduct and five stations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Japan's Premier Shinzo Abe had on September 14, 2017 laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) project.

The initial deadline to complete the ambitious project was December 2023. The bullet trains are expected to run at 350 km per hour covering the 508-km stretch in about two hours. In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.

Commenting on the progress of the Dedicated Freight Corridor, Yadav said that by June 2022 the DFC will be complete.

The DFC is one of the largest rail infrastructure projects undertaken by the government. The overall cost is pegged at Rs 81,459 crore. DFCCIL has been set up as a special purpose vehicle to undertake planning, development, mobilisation of financial resources, construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors.

In the first phase, the organisation is constructing the Western DFC (1,504 route km) and Eastern DFC (1,856 route km) spanning a total length of 3,360 route km.

Yadav said that in the EDFC the 353 km long Khurja-Bhaupur section is ready for commissioning while 48 km-long Khurja-Dadri section will be ready by June 2021, 401 km-long Ludhiana-Khurja section and 402 km-long Bhaupur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay section will be ready by June 2022 and 137 km long Deen Dayal Upadhyay-Sonnagar section will be ready by December 2021.

He said on the WDFC, the 306 km-long Rewari-Madar section is ready for commissioning while 335 km-long Madar-Palanpur section will be ready by March 2021, 122 km-long Rewari-Dadri by December 2021 and 738 km-long Palanpur-Makarpura-JNPT section by June 2022.

(With IANS Inputs)