Free Press Journal

Mumbai: No land for bullet train project in BMC, says Devendra  Fadnavis


Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has informed the Centre that it needs the 0.9 hectares of plot at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) ) for its International Finance Service Center (IFSC), which is also being sought by the Railways for the bullet train project. The state government has informed the Centre that it can consider land available at Dharavi for the 508 Km Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

While replying on a debate on Mumbai-based Abad Bullet Train project in legislative council initiated by Sanjay Dutt (Cong), Diwakar Raote, Minister for Public Transport Diwakar Raote said that in respect to the second bullet train route between Mumbai and Kolkata, the state has recommended to the Center to consider the route to pass through Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. A Spanish company has been asked to prepare feasibility report for the project.

Raote said, “The first phase of the bullet train project is to be completed by 2023. The total cost of the project is Rs 98,000 crore. Japan will provide loan up to 80 percent of the total project cost The rest of the 20 percent cost is to be shared equally by Center and Gujarat and Maharashtra.” Raote further said, “The loan is for 50 years and for the first 10 years there shall be no repayment of the loan. The state shall have to bear Rs 125 crore share for the project.” The minister stated that there will be four stations of the route in Maharashtra. He said that part of the route passes through backward districts like Palghar where Industrial development is needed. A port is under development close to the route.

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“The parking for the bullet train is underground.  The Mumbai-Thane segment of the route will be underground. The project will require less land to be acquired in the state, “said Raote. He said that since it is a government project only government land will be needed to be acquired. The ground breaking ceremony of the project is to be held in September next month.

Raising the debate, Dutt argued that the project cost is to shoot up to Rs 1,40,000 crore due to the delay. He further contended that the purpose of the Center insisting on BKC plot is to affect the states IFSC project. Taking part in the debate, Dr Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena)  argued that the government was pushing the project for the benefit of a few Jewellery businessmen. Rahul Narvekar (NCP) suggested that the government should instead allocate land for Bullet Train either at Wadala or at vacant Khar lands in Mumbai.