AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project has encountered a hurdle as an impasse between the National High-Speed Railway Corporation and Western Railway (WR) has suspended work on the Ahmedabad section. WR authorities have yet to grant permission to build the viaduct, stalling progress since October 2023.
Sources in the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) said, “The construction work from Sabarmati station to Kalupur station in Ahmedabad has come to a standstill due to the railways’ failure to authorize a block for the third line passing through this 2km stretch.” Talks with WR officials have taken place, emphasizing the need to block the third line as it passes very close to the high-speed line. However, the necessary permission is still pending. Sources said work halted in October.
NHSRCL authorities said the bullet train alignment is very close at eight locations in Ahmedabad. The closest stretch to the railway tracks is between Kalupur and Shahibaug cabin, covering about 2.2km with three bidirectional lines.
Officials said that the bullet train elevated corridor has a railway line on one side and habitation on the other. For the construction of 290 piles, 58 pile caps, 58 piers, and 58 pier caps, each for installing noise barriers in the 2.2 km stretch, a two-year block is required, meaning train movement on the third line must be stopped.
Despite sending multiple letters and reminders to Indian Railways, the NHSRCL has yet to receive a response. Work related to utility shifting is complete and construction will begin once the block is announced.
Officials from the Ahmedabad division were unavailable for comment as they were in Mumbai.
The NHSRCL spokesperson assured that they have written to the Railways, and permission will soon be provided for construction, attributing any potential delay to procedural formalities.
While permission for Kalupur station was granted promptly, a block is now required, potentially affecting train movement. Authorities suggest terminating trains from North India at Sabarmati instead of routing all of them through Ahmedabad. Only trains heading towards Mumbai or Vadodara would pass through the affected area.
To ensure seamless integration with other modes of transport, an integrated building for passenger transit is being planned on the east side of the existing Kalupur railway station. This building will connect with Ahmedabad railway station and the underground Kalupur metro station, facilitating passenger movement between platforms and transport modes.