Bullet Train Project for Mumbai-Ahmedabad to Cost Around Rs. 1 Lakh Crore

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project to Cost Around Rs. 1 Lakh Crore:

A big dream project of India plans to spend nearly Rs 1 lakh crore for its first bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, preliminary work for which has developed the speed. Last week, in its recent interim report presented, Japan has shared in the cost escalation through the years that it will take to finish the project.

The amount, around Rs 98,000 crore, could rise a bit more. Based on estimates from the Japanese team working on the feasibility study for the proposed 550-km corridor, Railways has circulated a 21-page inter-ministerial concept note detailing the way it intends to go about  implementing the project.

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From an earlier estimate of around Rs 62,000 crore, the concept note’s figures seem to have jumped to Rs 70,000 crore at 2014 prices. The interim report estimates 40,000 people will use the corridor daily by 2023. After the commissioning of the works, it will take around eight years for the first bullet train to hit the tracks.

The project estimate got a reality check after Finance Ministry, in its response to the concept note, highlighted that the estimate of Rs 70,000 crore did not factor in cost escalation and tax to be paid to the government.

The Ministry has now asked Railways for a copy of Japan’s interim report to study it further. Railways, in turn, has asked the Japanese team to give detailed estimates based on multiple technological options available to see if using any particular technology would lead to a significant variation in prices.The final report is expected in June.

The note says “discussions indicate” Japan International Cooperation Agency might agree to fund 85 percent of the project in which construction and procurement cost alone is around Rs 49,504 crore. Other major expenditure heads are Consulting Service Cost (Rs 2,190 crore); land acquisition (Rs 10,248 crore); a contingency fund (Rs 3,334 crore) and the implementing agency’s management fee (Rs 4,700 crore).

According to the final feasibility report prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), India’s first bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will cost around Rs. 1 lakh crore.

The first train might start its run in 2024 if the work begins in 2017. The report also states that the travel time between the two cities will come down to 2 hours – from the existing over 7 hours – with the bullet train’s estimated speed of over 300Km/h. Just so you know, the projected corridor is expected to enable trains to run at a top speed of 350Km/h.

A senior rail ministry official, who is involved with the project, said the ticket could be higher than that for the 1st AC coach of Rajdhani Express. The projected fare between Mumbai and Ahmedabad may be around Rs.2,800.

In his budget speech in March, Prabhu had said that “quick and appropriate action” on executing the high-speed project would be initiated after the submission of the JICA’s final report.

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