"Bullet train project facing land acquisition hurdle: Railways"

3rd June,2021

"Bullet train project facing land acquisition hurdle: Railways"

On Wednesday Railway Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma said it is not possible to give a timeframe for the bullet train project now due to land acquisitions stumbling block being faced in Maharashtra.

“In Maharashtra we are facing land acquisition issues. We have not got the land completely yet and we are in discussions with the State government for same. Hence, we will not be able to give a target timeframe right now,” Mr. Sharma told.

He said nearly 95% of land acquisition is complete in Gujarat and as a result tenders have been passed and the work has also started. “We are trying that wherever we are getting land and there are no other problem.we are awarding contracts and work has begun. But where we have land issues, it won’t be right to give a timeframe.”

Mr. Sharma said the Railways has achieved record consignment loading for nine consecutive months since last September despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic.

To a query on the target to double freight loading by 2024, the Chairman said about 1,232 million tonnes freight was carried last year (2020-2021). The aim for the current year is 1,400 million tonnes and 2,024 million tonnes for 2024.

“This won’t just happen by increasing trains or improving asset utilisation...To achieve that, mega projects such as the two dedicated freight corridors need to be completed and we are confident to see that accomplished next year,” Mr. Sharma said.

“We believe we will definitely get some more traffic if we improve the turnaround times and speeds. We are very definite of achieving our freight loading targets as major infrastructure projects come online.”