Green signal for bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad
New Delhi: Two ambitious rail projects - proposed elevated rail corridor in Mumbai and a bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai - got a boost Wednesday as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finalized the targets for key infrastructure projects in PPP model in railways.
At a meeting with ministers and secretaries of key infrastructure ministries, it was decided to flag off the elevated rail corridor project for Mumbai suburban service with a total investment of Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13.
The elevated rail corridor is crucial for Mumbai as it aims to give a faster service to daily commuters in the metropolis.
However, Railway Minister Mukul Roy was not present in the meeting. Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal attended the high-level meeting chaired by the PM.
It was also decided to finalise the action plan for the 500-km high-speed corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, said railway sources. The project is estimated to cost about Rs 60,000 crore.
Known as bullet train project, the train is expected to run at 350 km per hour speed reducing the travel time to four hours between the two cities from seven hours by Duronto, the fastest train at present.
The pre-feasibility study of the proposed corridor connecting two major cities is complete.
Besides, the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), locomotive plants at Madhepura and Marhora in Bihar and station development plan in PPP model were also discussed in the meeting.
The bidding documents for the two locomotive plants in Bihar are not yet finalised.
The DFC work on the Sonnagar to Dankuni will be awarded this year, they said.
Four to five railway stations are being selected for the purpose of redevelopment with the aim of providing better passenger amenities in the PPP model.
Besides railways the PM also reviewed the progress of some key infrastructure projects in power, roads, shipping, civil aviation and coal.
The meeting also took note of new targets for railways in the current fiscal.
The new passenger target for 2012-13 was fixed at 8740 million. The passenger target was 8290 million for the last fiscal, 8306 million passengers travelled in trains in 2011-12.
In 2011-12, 970 million tonnes (MT) freight were carried by railways while the target for current fiscal is 1038 MT.