Bye bye Bullet Train? Future of ambitious project in jeopardy after BJP loses

With the ouster of the brief BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis, a Japanese-backed bullet train project may now be in jeopardy in Maharashtra.

According to Reuters, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is a $17 billion investment largely financed by a long-term, low-cost loan from Japan. Work on the project began in 2017, at a time when the BJP was in power in both the states.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders are not very keen on the project.

Manisha Kayande, a spokesperson for Shiv Sena reportedly said that the party has always been opposed to the project and that the project will now need to be "re-framed".

"If it is causing so much harm to so many people, why should we go ahead with it?" she asked.

Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar today said that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train is not Shiv Sena's priority, reports PTI.

The project has already run into obstacles when it comes to acquiring land from fruit farmers. Till July, the authorities had acquired only 548 hectares land out of the total requirement 1,380 hectares.

As an NCP leader put it, while the upcoming government is not against development, the needs and interests of farmers cannot be ignored. Critics question the necessity of the project, and opine that the same investment could be used to improve the existing network.

“We are not against development or infrastructure projects, but at the same time farmers’ interests can’t be ignored. We will rethink about projects that farmers are opposing,” said a senior leader of Nationalist Congress Party, which is a part of the coalition government.

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