“The alignment of the corridor is almost finalized. The cost of the project includes the tunnelling cost also,“ a senior railways official said. Officials in Mumbai point out that there is no long sea stretch between Thane and Virar.They say it’s probable the 21-km segment includes the BKC-Thane stretch and a portion below the Thane creek as a gradient will have to be given to bring the track on land level before it goes all the way up to Virar.
The ambitious project is likely to cost around Rs 97,636 crore and 81% of funding for the project will come from Japan as a soft loan for 50 years.
A joint committee formed under Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya will visit Japan next month for further discussion to ensure faster execution of the Modi government’s pet project. The committee, which has the secretaries of the department of industrial policy and ment of industrial policy and promotion, departments of economic affairs and foreign ministry along with the railway board chairman, had met Japanese officials in February .
An official said the loan agreement with Japan–81% of funding for the project as a soft loan for 50 years at a 0.1% annual interest with 15 years’ moratorium–is slated to be signed by the end of the year and construction work would begin by end of 2018. The railways has formed a National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Maharashtra and Gujarat will have equity of 25% each, while the railways will have 50% in the SPV .
A search committee comprising cabinet secretary , railway board chairman and secretary , DoPT, is currently selecting the managing director and five directors for the NHSRCL.
The bullet train is expected to cover the 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph.