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India’s first HS line now expected to open in 2023

ypodomes team

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Bullet train China

India’s first high-speed rail project –a 508km line linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad– is facing land acquisition problems and is likely to miss the August 2022 opening target.

The original plan was to open the line by the end of 2023, but the date was brought forward to August 15 2022 by the government to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. The plan was then revised so that just the 50km section from Surat to Billimora in Gujarat would open on Independence Day.

However, with only 50% of the land acquired so far, even completing the initial section by Independence Day is highly unlikely. India’s National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is responsible for implementing the project, says the priority is to expedite land acquisition so that the line can open by the end of 2023.

In August, Mr Suresh Angadi, minister of state for railways, informed the Indian parliament that 97% of landowners in Gujarat state had consented to land acquisition but the government was still facing challenges acquiring pockets of land in Maharashtra.

Out of the total length of 508km, 468km will be elevated, 27km will be in tunnel and the remaining 13km will be at grade. The tunnel will include a 7km under-sea section near Thane.

The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 1100bn ($US 15.5bn). Japan is providing a loan of Rs 880bn at an interest rate of 0.1% which India should repay in 50 years with a moratorium on repayments of up to 15 years.

Since the high-speed project was launched in September 2017, tenders have been floated for 348km, about 69% of the route, at an estimated cost of more than Rs 350bn.

Stations

The high-speed line will have 12 stations. According to the feasibility report, trains stopping at every station will cover the distance in 2h 58min at a maximum speed of 320km/h, but with only four stops the journey time would be cut to 2h 7min.

A fleet of 24 series E5 Shinkansen trains will be procured from Japan, six of which will be assembled in India. The trains will have between 10 and 16 coaches with capacity for between 1300 and 1600 passengers. Three depots will be built at Sabarmati, Surat and Thane.

Talking to IRJ, NHSRCL’s managing director, Mr Achal Khare, says: “This high-speed project is a second revolution in the transport sector in the country, the first being metro rail. It is expected to bring about a paradigm shift not only in public transport, but also in the way of life of the people.”

Source: railjournal.com

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AKTOR-TEKAL consortium withdraws from major port project in Thessaloniki

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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ΟΛΘ Λιμάνι Θεσσαλονίκης Γερανογέφυρες

The first withdrawal has been confirmed for the tender process of the largest port project in the Mediterranean, which with 170m euros will complete the 6th Pier of OLTH (i.e. Thessaloniki Port).

According to sources close to the tender, J/V AKTOR-TEKAL withdrew its participation due to “internal issues”. So far (and if we don’t see another withdrawal) the consortia that remain in the competition are:

J/V EIFFAGE-ΤΕΡΝΑ, J/V MYTILINEOS-ROVER MARITIME SL- CH. KONSTANTINIDIS, J/V INTRAKAT-VITTADELLO, ARCHIRODON, J/V AVAX-ΕΤΕRMAR-NV BESIX, ACCIONA CONSTRUCCION

The entries of foreign companies in the project come from Eiffage (France), Vittadello (Italy), Besix (Belgium), Etermar (Portugal) and Acciona (Spain).

A particularly interesting element of the tender, according to a source close to the case, is that up to 6 participants can pass to the second phase. This means that at least one of the above impressive contenders could leave the ‘battle’ prematurely.

The completion of the evaluation of the first stage is expected to take place by next week. Then, OLTH SA is expected to forward to the pre-selected companies the call for submission of binding offers, regarding their participation in the second stage of the tender procedure.

This project is the most important among the mandatory investments undertaken by OLTH SA, according to the Concession Agreement with the Greek State.

A consortium comprised by SALFO-AECOM-SAMARAS & ASSOCIATES is the independent engineer of the project while the project manager is Hill International, with Rogan & Associates in the role of the designer.

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New obstacles for Athens Metro Line 4 tender as both contenders’ appeals are sustained

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Μετρό Γραμμή 4

A major reversal for the development of Athens Metro Line 4 tender, seems to have happened yesterday.

According to sources of ypodomes.com and the first available information, the two appeals previously filed by the two finalists to the Council of State, were both sustained.

It is reminded that the two contenders are J/V AKTOR-ANSALDOBREDA-HITACHI and J/V AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM.

The first interpretation given is that the Council of State, having heard the arguments of both participants, essentially decided to reject the evaluations by the tender committee.

As a result, scenarios are beginning to emerge about the fate of the tender itself, that could lead even to the cancellation of the project while others talk about a decision that needs a deeper consideration.

Nevertheless, it is certain that we are at a crossroads for the sole large-scale project of the country, with a budget of 1.8bn euros that promises to revive the construction market.

According to preliminary estimates, what will be done here is to lose some more time. Sources close to the tender point out that we should remain cautious with this subject, before we say anything.

Three scenarios

However, always according to the same sources, depending on what the decision will be, we are in front of three basic scenarios. The first is to return the tender back to the evaluation stage by the competition committee while the second scenario is the cancellation of the tender altogether.

The first two scenarios are linked as either both contenders could survive or one of them, allowing the tender to go on. In the second scenario, both can be rejected resulting to the whole structure of the tender to collapse.

The third scenario is -even if the appeals have been accepted- for the tender to proceed (it is something we have seen in the past). Out of these three scenarios, the weakest one appears to be the third.

In any case, the tender enters into new adventures and a doubtful future. There are voices suggesting that it needs to stay alive and be completed because 2 years will be lost for a project that has been expected for a long time by the market.

On the other hand, there are other voices that point out that with the tender regarding the precursory being stagnant, perhaps a new tender would give a new impetus to the project.

What is currently being recommended is a careful reading of the Council of State’s decision rationale and the consequent compliance of Attiko Metro.

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Partial undergrounding of Athens Metro Line 1 to be funded by NSRF

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Συρμός του ΗΣΑΠ στον Πειραιά

The project for the undergrounding of Athens Metro Line 1 section Faliro-Piraeus, as it seems, will proceed with funds from NSRF 2014-2020.

According to information of ypodomes.com, the project’s integration into the current programming period is almost secured and the project will be able to be implemented.

This means that, once it is included in NSRF, its maturation process will run simultaneously with the preparation of its tender documents, in order for the tender to be approved by the Managing Authority. The cost of the project is roughly 100m euros.

In relevant documents from the General Secretariat of Public Investments and NSRF as well as EPDM it is noted that it is a potentially eligible project by the Operational Program YMEPERAA, provided that a corresponding decision is also taken by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

NSRF inclusion proceeds – The need for the project’s implementation

According to information available to ypodomes.com, at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the matter is moving forward and the willingness to integrate the project into NSRF 2014-2020 and more specifically in the O.P. YMEPERAA is considered certain.

It should be reminded that the Municipality of Piraeus has put the undergrounding project very high in its agenda and pushed for its implementation as it believes that the project release enough space for the creation of an avenue that can tackle traffic, especially in the summer, to and from the port.

The project involves the undergrounding of the lines immediately after Faliro Station, the construction of a new underground station named Kaminia (at the intersection of Iroon Polytechniou and O. Skilitsi streets) and the elevation of the lines at Piraeus Station Terminal.

A project with long history

Here, we are talking about one of the most classic ‘mock-up’ projects. The discussion for the undergrounding of this section has been around since 2000 as a project combined with the Tram.

Eventually, due to the reactions the tramway changed its original design and was tendered as an independent project (and is expected to be delivered this summer).

After many years and many setbacks, the project has acquired approved environmental licensing which is considered to be a major advantage that could, in theory, lead to its implementation soon, soon, upon its integration to NSRF, satisfying a decades-long request of Piraeus to stop being ‘bisected’.

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