Mumbai – Ahmedabad HSR Project General Consultancy Memorandum Signed

Mumbai – Ahmedabad HSR Project General Consultancy Memorandum Signed :Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Indian Ministry of Railways (Mor) and National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) signed a Memorandum for General Consultancy on 9 December 2016 for the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (HSR) project.
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The National High Speed Rail Corporation, a new agency in charge of the implementation of the project, is a Joint Venture (JV) between Japan International Consultants for Transportation (JIC), Nippon Koei and Oriental Consultants Global Company. The JV will implement the project General Consultancy and will be funded by JICA up to 2020.
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Eighty-one % of the project cost is being funded by Japan with a soft loan for 50 years at 0.1% annual interest, with a 15 year moratorium. Rolling stock and other equipment like signaling and the power system will be imported from Japan, as per the loan agreement.

The Japanese funding agency said in a statement that “JICA promotes smooth implementation of the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Railway Project by signing the Memorandum for General Consultancy.”

“The General Consultancy is to provide design and bidding assistance for the public works and systems required for the construction of a high speed railway linking two cities Mumbai and Ahmedabad in India, which was agreed to at the Japan – India Summit Meeting held in December 2015.”

The service will run at an operating speed of 320 kph, maximum speed will be 350 kph

The HSR line will connect Mumbai, the capital city of the State of Maharashtra, with Ahmedabad, the second most populous metropolitan area in India, located in the State of Gujarat. The railway will run along the Arabian Sea coast with stops in Surat and Vadodara, respectively the second and third largest cities in the State of Gujarat.

Eleven stations have been proposed for the line: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Valsad, Vapi, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand or Nadiad and Ahmedabad. Potentially, the line can be extended from Ahmedabad to New Delhi and from Thane towards Pune and Bengaluru.
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The service will run at an operating speed of 320 kph, with the maximum speed being 350 kph. Thus, the 508 km distance will be covered in just over two hours. The fastest train currently operating between Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad Junction is the Duronto Express, which takes approximately 7 hours running non-stop between the two cities at a maximum speed of 120 kph.
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According to Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu the cost to passengers for the new HSR service will be less than the equivalent airfare.

“The Mumbai – Ahmedabad bullet train ticket will cost less than the flight”

Most of the corridor will be implemented on an elevated track, but a 21 km tunnel between Thane and Virar will allow the trains to pass under the sea, as per JICA’s detailed project report (DPR).

Trains are proposed to have a length of between 10 and 16 coaches, with each train having a passenger capacity of 1,300 to 1,600 passengers.

The MoR published the “Indian Railways Vision 2020” in December 2009, in response to India’s rapid economic growth and sharp rise in the volume of people and goods being transported in the country. Pre-feasibility studies are being carried out on at least seven routes that are candidates for the construction of HSR corridors.

A report issued by an expert committee designates the 508 km long line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as the first HSR section to be planned and constructed. A pre-feasibility study for this line was carried out by RITES, Systra and others in 2009. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) conducted a first project feasibility study for the line in 2012.
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India and Japan issued a statement on 29 May 2013 that included a decision to conduct a joint study regarding the construction of the Mumbai – Ahmedabad HSR. JICA and the Indian Ministry of Railways signed a joint feasibility study Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 7 October 2013.

JICA officials visited Mumbai in January 2014 to discuss the details of the project, and made selective site visits to the proposed route.

The project was approved in May 2014 by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with the Chairman of the High Speed Rail Corporation of India, Satish Agnihotri.
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The feasibility study on the project was carried out in July 2015 by RITES, Italferr and Systra.

The governments of India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 12 December 2015 to implement the corridor; Japanese Shinkansen technology will be adopted, with technology transfer to support the Indian government’s “Make in India” policy. Japanese companies will also provide staff training.
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In January 2016 the Indian MoR fast tracked the project and set up NHSRC as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to build and operate the corridor. Construction of the corridor is currently expected to begin in 2018, with completion by 2023.

But India’s high speed vision does not end here. The Diamond Quadrilateral is a project that will establish an HSR network connecting the four Indian metro cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. HSR feasibility studies have already been awarded to various global consultants for the Delhi – Mumbai, Mumbai – Chennai, Delhi – Kolkata, Delhi – Nagpur and Mumbai – Nagpur connections.
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mumbai-ahmedabad-hsr-project-general-consultancy-memorandum-signed

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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