Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train: Work On 21 Km Underground Tunnel Starting Soon

Last Updated: March 03, 2023, 14:15 IST

The first leg of the bullet train project in Maharashtra is not progressing as expected.

For a 21-kilometre-long tunnel, NHSRCL will first clear 3.92 hectares at Vikhroli and then start the drilling process between Bandra Kurla Complex and Thane

Following Supreme Court’s positive verdict for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, the National High-Speed Rail Corridor Limited (NHSRCL) is all set to begin preliminary work on the Vikhroli land soon. For the unversed, Vikroli is where one of the entry points to the underground tunnel falls in the 508.17 kilometres long rail track between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Also Read: Mumbai’s Bullet Train to Get 3-Floor Station 24m Below Earth’s Surface at BKC, India’s First Under-Sea Tunnel

Around 21 kilometres stretch on the route will be underground and will be crossed via a tunnel. For a 21-kilometre-long tunnel, NHSRCL will first clear 3.92 hectares at Vikhroli and then start the drilling process for the tunnel between the Bandra Kurla Complex and Thane. The BKC-Thane tunnel includes a seven-kilometre undersea tunnel, the first of its kind in India.

Last month, NHSRCL released bids for the tunnelling process, the construction of which is estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crores. For the construction of this tunnel, a Tunnel Boring Machine with a cutter head of 13.1 diameters will be used instead of the usual 5-6 diameter TBM.

As the undersea tunnel falls into the protected sanctuary for flamingos and nearby mangroves, rail tracks will be made undersea to make sure no disturbance is caused to the existing natural ecosystem.

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Close to the end of February, NHSRCL had acquired almost all the land required for the 508-kilometre-long corridor. By the end of this month, authorities will begin accepting bids for civil construction projects including bridges, and maintenance facilities in various areas.

The high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be operating at a speed of more than 320 kilometres, covering 508 km in a span of two hours. With the bullet train in place, the travel time from the usual nine hours by bus and six hours by train will be drastically reduced.

The train will be covering 155 km in Maharashtra, 4.3 kilometres in Dader and Nagar Haveli and 348 Km in Gujrat. There will be 12 stations on the route. Ten cities have been chosen where the train will stop – Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

For the project, the Central government had initially set a deadline of 2023 but it cannot meet the deadline due to land acquisition issues in Maharashtra. Now, the revised deadline has been kept in 2026.

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