New Delhi: On 15 August 2022 India’s first bullet train may run between Surat and Bilimora – covering a stretch of around 48 kilometers in a time of 15 minutes, informed sources told Financial Express Online. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, stretching over 508-km, is an ambitious initiative that is slated to be fully complete by 2023. However, PM Narendra Modi has set a stiff deadline of 15 August 2022 for flagging off the first bullet train of the country.
Incidentally, on 15 August 2022 India will complete 75 years of Independence. While National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is working day and night to complete the bullet train project by August 2022, sources said that in case the entire network is not operational by then, the Surat to Bilimora stretch will be launched.
NHSRCL, the executing body of the bullet train project, has set a target of December 2018 for land acquisition. Despite facing protests in several belts across Gujarat and Maharashtra, the bullet train project work is going on in full swing and NHSRCL officials are hopeful that they will be able to overcome resistance of locals.
For this, not only is higher compensation being offered, but innovative methods to convince locals such as chai pe charcha, building schools and hospitals, providing water and catering to other necessities are being adopted.
The bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will have 12 stations in total; Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Bilimora, Vapi, Boisar, Virar, Thane and Mumbai. The high-speed train will take 2 hours and 57 minutes between the two cities if it stops at all stations. Of the 12 stations, 8 are in Gujarat and 4 in Maharashtra.
The bullet train project will also give India its first undersea rail tunnel at Thane creek, for a stretch of 21 kilometres, of which 7 km will be under water.
In Mumbai, whose station is underground in the Bandra Kurla Complex, the interior will carry design impressions that convey the spirit of the city.