"In the next three months, we expect around 95 to 100 per cent of land acquisition
in Gujarat to be completed. Covid has affected the joint measurement survey in Maharasthra and that may also improve within the next six months," said Yadav. The Railways has indicated that key components of the project, like design, environment and forest clearances, are complete and works can start immediately after the land issue is solved.
A tender was invited for a 21-km underground stretch, including a 7-km under-sea stretch, but it did not attract interest from Japanese players. "Due to the pandemic situation, international travels were banned. Such kinds of projects require a lot of survey works and hence Japanese companies could not participate. We had advance information about that. As land issues improve, we will start the bidding process again," he said.
The government has already signed a loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for providing around Rs 15,000 crore, out of the total loan amount of Rs 88,000 crore. The estimated total cost of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project is Rs 1.08 trillion, out of which 81 per cent cost is planned for funding through the loan from JICA.
To start 80 trains from September 12
The government has decided to start 40 pairs of new trains starting from September 12 onwards. Bookings for these trains will start on September 10. "The new trains are coming on routes where the occupancy level is high. We will be monitoring the occupancy of all these trains and if required, will start clone trains too," Yadav said.
He added that exams for 140,640 posts, announced early this year, which got delayed due to Covid will also start from December 15.