Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday flagged off indigenously designed and manufactured equipment to expedite the construction of viaduct for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor which has faced delays due to coronavirus pandemic as well as land acquisition issues.
The full span launching equipment-Straddle Carrier and Girder Transporter of 1,100 MT capacity has been indigenously designed and manufactured by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, officials said.
Addressing the gathering through video conferencing, Vaishnaw stated that with this, India is now coming in the select group of countries like Italy, Norway, Korea and China, which have been designing and manufacturing such equipment.
L&T has partnered with 55 Micro-Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for the project.
“This will expedite construction of high speed railway (HSR), as is the proven technology in metro and similar projects. Work has already begun on 325 km (in Gujarat) out of 508 km corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad,” the railway minister noted.
“This project will also improve the skill set in various rail construction technologies. Japanese counterparts will provide training to National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited employees and also to contractors. More than 6,000 workers are already working at various construction sites for the project, thus creating employment opportunities for the local youth,” he said.
More than 97 per cent land has been acquired for the project in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and 30 per cent land in Maharashtra.
Vaishnaw further stated that the Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project is expected to create more than 90,000 jobs in this area, including 51,000 jobs for technicians, skilled and unskilled workers.
“This project will boost the overall economy of the area by deploying thousands of trucks, dumpers, excavators, batching plants, tunnelling equipment and so on. It is estimated that 7.5 million tonnes of cement, 2.1 million tonnes of steel and 70,000 tonnes of structural steel will be used in the construction.
“The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited is also preparing detailed project reports for seven high speed rail corridors. With the experience of execution of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, the work on other corridors will be faster,” he mentioned.
The technology will also expedite the process of launching girders as precast girders of full span length will be erected as a single piece for double track viaduct.
This system is used world over as it is faster than the segment by segment launching method, usually adopted for the construction of viaducts for metro system.
Twenty of such launching equipment will be required for the construction of 325 km of viaduct superstructures between Vapi and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
“If we have to achieve results of 21st century, we have to adopt the mindset of 21st century. This straddle carrier and girder transporter is a very good example of 21st century mindset,” the minister added.