New Delhi: Aiming at connecting Patna with
high speed train, the railways will undertake a pre-
feasibility study of Delhi-Patna rail route, which would be
conducted by a British firm.
"UK firm Mott Macdonald has been given the responsibility
of conducting the pre-feasibility study of the 993-km-long
Delhi-Patna route," a senior Railway Ministry official said.
It would cost the Railways Rs 8.8 crore for preparing the
report, which would focus on technicalities, financial and
operational viability of the project on Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-
Varanasi-Patna route, he said.
The firm has to submit the report within seven months.
"The report would suggest the cost, ridership, alignment,
commercial exploitation of land along the route and possible
business plan of the Delhi-Patna high speed rail corridor,"
the official said.
While it takes about more than 12 hours to travel to
Patna by Rajdhani, the high speed train is expected to
complete the journey in less than five hours.
The Railways so far has identified six routes as possible
high speed corridors for running trains at the speed of 250 to
350 km per hour.
While the study for Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route is
complete, the next routes to be taken up for similar study are
Howrah-Haldia and Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar sectors.
Later on study for the remaining routes -- Hyderabad-
Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai and Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-
Ernakulum would be taken up for the proposed high speed train
In order to expedite the work, the Railways is setting up
an independent authority -- National High Speed Rail Authority
-- to plan and execute the bullet train project.
Currently it cost about Rs six crore for construction of
one km rail route, while it is estimated to cost Rs 70 crore
for construction of one km high speed rail corridor.
Since the high speed corridor is a costly proposition, it
is being planned to implement it on PPP model with the
participation of state governments, the official said.