Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train: Despite Shiv Sena opposition, government floats first tender

MUMBAI: In the face of strong oppositon from its ruling partner Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has gone ahead and floated the first tender for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious bullet train project worth an estimated Rs 1.1 lakh crore. The NHSRCL has floated a tender for building a bridge in Navsari district in Gujarat. This will be the first of the 60-odd bridges on the 508-km high-speed corridor.

Of the total land requirement of around 1,400 hectares for the entire corridor, only around 0.9 hectares have been acquired so far. But NHSRCL officials said they would be able to stick to their timeline of starting civil work by December 2018-January 2019. In Palghar, the project requires around 300 hectares of land. The total land acquisition cost has been set at Rs 10,000 crore. The govt wants to roll out the country’s first bullet train by August 2022, advancing it by a year, as the official deadline was 2023. The Sena had organised a march in Palghar to protest against the project.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray too had opposed the project and appealed to people not to give up their land for the project. “It’s true that the project was delayed inordinately. A proposal armed with permissions from concerned authorities will be tabled before the standing committee in the upcoming meeting.  After the nod installation work will commence.” confirmed a PWD officer.

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