L&T, IRCON International and Tata Projects eye Bullet Train civil works

According to multiple sources, these companies have showed interest in a tender issued by the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), implementing agency for the project.

MUMBAI: Come July, top names in the infrastructure sector such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T), IRCON International and Tata Projects will battle to get a share of engineering contracts for the country’s first ‘bullet train’ project, between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

According to multiple sources, these companies have showed interest in a tender issued by the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), implementing agency for the project. The tender is for construction of stations, bridges, viaducts, maintenance depots and tunnels. Total length of the proposed High Speed Railway Corridor is 508.17 km, from the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai to near the Sabarmati rail station in Ahmedabad.

A spokesperson for Tata Projects confirmed: “We are pursuing the project, however, the value is not decided. The partner happens to be a Japanese firm.” S K Chaudhary, chairman of Ircon, said his firm would be in the race and had initiated some activity. He would not give any detail. An e-mail query to L&T on Monday remained unanswered. Contracts for the civil works were earlier estimated at Rs 20,000 crore but might come down after bidding. The Rs 1.08-trillion project was conceptualised during the first tenure of the Narendra Modi government. Suresh Angadi, the new Union minister of state for railways, said completion of the project would be a priority.

According to sources, the companies are likely to partner with global majors based out of Japan, China and Italy for technology. “Only five or six companies globally have the technology for such works. Around 460 km will be open for Indian companies to bid. However, key tenders like electrical, rolling stock, signalling and tracks will be open for only Japanese companies,” said a source.

Of the entire length, 155.6 km would be in Maharashtra, 350.5 km in Gujarat and 2 km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Stations are proposed at Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. A depot is proposed at either end, one near Thane and the other near Sabarmati.

Japan International Cooperation Agency is expected to soon sign a loan agreement of Rs 88,000 crore with the Indian government for the project. NHSRCL was earlier expected to complete it it by the first half of 2022, marking 75 years of Indian self-rule. However, protests by major political parties could delay this.