COVID snag in bullet practice challenge, might fail to fulfill 2023 deadline

New Delhi, September 5

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet practice challenge, which is scheduled to be accomplished by December 2023, might fail to fulfill its deadline as a result of coronavirus pandemic that has led to delays in opening tenders and land acquisition, officers mentioned.

The National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) has already acquired 63 per cent of the land for the challenge — about 77 per cent land in Gujarat, 80 per cent in Dadar Nagar Haveli and 22 per cent in Maharashtra. Officials mentioned there have been nonetheless points in buying land in areas like Palghar in Maharashtra and Navsari in Gujarat.

Last yr, the corporate had floated 9 civil work tenders which couldn’t be opened due to the coronavirus pandemic, officers mentioned.

“Because of COVID, we had to postpone the opening of a few of the tenders. It is difficult to assess the impact of the pandemic on the project as it is still continuing. We cannot say how the pandemic will affect the project as I don’t know how long it will last,” NHSRCL MD Achal Khare mentioned.

Officially, the NHSRCL spokesperson maintained that the deadline for the challenge remained 2023.

One of the civil work contracts for the development of stations, bridges, viaducts, upkeep depots, and tunnels throughout the community is to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore.

Tenders for civil works for 345 km out of 508 km alignment, or 68 per cent of civil works, have already been floated. This contains six MAHSR stations (together with one underground station in Mumbai). The works associated to utility diversion are progressing properly and the development of Sabarmati passenger hub (a multi-modal hub) in Sabarmati, Gujarat has additionally began.

The hostel constructing of High Speed Training Institute (which is presently getting used for COVID-19 sufferers) and coaching tracks in Vadodara are additionally accomplished.

The 508.17-kilometre lengthy community will move by three districts in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar) and eight districts in Gujarat (Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, and Ahmedabad).

Apart from land acquisition, one other main trigger for the delay could possibly be value escalation owing to a fall within the rupee towards the Japanese yen.

While the extent of the associated fee escalation has but not been confirmed by the railways, sources mentioned it’s estimated that it’s going to rise from the current Rs 1.08 lakh crore to 1.70 lakh crore.

The complete value of the challenge is pegged at Rs 1.08 lakh crore and as per the shareholding sample, the Government of India is to pay Rs 10,000 crore to the NHSRCL, whereas the 2 states concerned, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are to pay Rs 5,000 crore every. The relaxation is to be paid by Japan by a mortgage at 0.1 per cent curiosity.

One part of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail hall is prone to be tendered out inside three months after almost 90 per cent of the land acquisition for the challenge is accomplished, an official mentioned.

Officials mentioned that to finish the challenge, the NHSRCL has divided the work into 26 packages, every has to offer a minimal of 30 months time for the contractors to complete their work.

“So, even if the land acquisition is completed and tenders are opened, the NHSRCL will be unable to finish the work within the deadline. Also, the Japanese who have been allotted land here have not been able to begin any of their works, which is sure to delay the project further,” mentioned the official. PTI

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