New Delhi: In tandem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government's motive to bring the much required technological innovations to Indian Railways, Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda in his maiden Rail budget said, "The need of the hour is to bring in a total change in the work culture and delivery of railway services by going in for large scale integrated computerisation of major functions of Indian Railways."
He announced plans to introduce a bullet train in Mumbai- Ahmedabad sector and setting up of a Diamond Quadrilateral network of high speed rail connecting major metros and growth centres. A sum of Rs 100 crore has been provided for initiating the project.
Increasing the speed of trains to 160 to 200 kms per hour on nine select sectors was another highlight of the budget, which proposes to allow all experimental stoppages to lapse after September this year.
The high-speed train will run at a maximum speed of 320km/h and cover 534km between the two cities in two hours.
Japan International Consortium will complete the project feasibility report by 2015. Post this, other infrastructural details will be worked out including land acquisition. Trains are most likely to originate at Bandra-Kurla Complex.
It was also decided that the corridor will not have more than five stations, against the initial plan for 11.
According to a report in the Times of India, railway officials the project will post major engineering challenges and hurdles need to crossed regarding land acquisition, cooperation, relief and rehabilitation of project-affected people and raising of funds.
The railways is keen to implement this project on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis with Maharashtra and Gujarat as stakeholders. The project was originally planned as the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor. Railway officials, though, said its Pune-Mumbai leg may not be financially viable.
A pre-feasibility study for the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad route was conducted by French consultancy firm Systra.