The ministry of Railways may have started looking for a consultant to construct a high-speed rail corridor between Chennai-Mysuru by Bengaluru, but senior officials state, it would be a costly project, with land acquisition alone expected to take up a major part of the cost.
They tell 50-60 metres would be needed throughout the 425-km stretch and estimate that almost 5,000 acres would have to be acquired to lay 2 lines along with the route.
Acquiring such a large extent of land can become a stumbling block in addition to the expense of building the line and fencing it on both sides so that the trains can travel at speeds up to 300 kmph without any obstacle, said by a railways official.
They may have to build elevated lines while passing through towns and cities to avoid disturbing land. This alone will cost around 150 cr per km. Availability or willingness to acquire the land has been a major stumbling block to laying high-speed railway lines. Fresh land will be needed because the line cannot be alongside existing lines that include inclines and curves,” he added.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed line too has been stuck in a land acquisition row and has been paused for more than a year. Sources tell the estimated project cost ridership and the optimal route may be exposed after surveys are conveyed before receiving any approvals from the railway board, state govt and the Union govt.