New Delhi: Deciding among various foreign contenders, the Railways Ministry has finally handed over the charge of survey for Hyderabad-Chennai High Speed Corridor to a Japan based company. The Railways has identified a total of six corridors in the country of which the contracts for survey work have already been allotted for four, while the remaining two are to be finalised soon.

The group of Jetro, Oriental Consultancy and Parsons Brinkhoff India of Japan has bagged the contract for the corridor. The companies will carry out a survey to check whether the conditions are suitable for laying the 664 kilometres track. They will also calculate track alignment, number of bridges, and overbridges to be built and the estimated budget for the project. The survey may cost in the range of Rs 3 crore to 5 crore.

Generally one kilometer of track costs up to Rs 100 crore, the expenditure is expected to vary in India.    

The Indian Railways have already allotted surveys for three high speed routes. The survey contract for 650 kilometres Pune-Mumbai-Ahmadabad route has been allotted to France based company Systra and has been completed and submitted to the Ministry of Railways. The survey contract for 991 kilometres Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi route has been handed over to Britain based Mot McDonald company, whereas the contract for 135 kilometres Howrah-Haldia route has been given to Spanish company Ineco.

Meanwhile, the plan for survey contracts for the 450 kilometres Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar route and 869 kilometres Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore route are in the pipeline.

In order to expedite the bullet train project, Railways is in the process of constituting the National High Speed Rail Authority. The draft of the National High Speed Rail Authority Bill has been sent to the Law Ministry, Urban Development Ministry, Environment Ministry, Finance Ministry and Planning Commission for their views.

The final draft of the Bill would be sent to the Cabinet for its approval before being introduced in the Budget Session of Parliament

JPN/Bureau