Maharashtra Govt Boosts Funding For Nashik-Pune Semi-High-Speed Rail Corridor

Maharashtra Govt Boosts Funding For Nashik-Pune Semi-High-Speed Rail Corridor

This financial injection underscores the state's commitment to advancing the ambitious rail corridor, projected to cost around Rs. 16,000 crores.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 06:16 PM IST
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Maharashtra Govt Boosts Funding For Nashik-Pune Semi-High-Speed Rail Corridor | File Photo

In a significant development for the eagerly awaited Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project, the Maharashtra State Government has allocated a substantial fund of Rs 196 crore to the Maharashtra State Rail Infrastructure Development Company recently. This financial injection underscores the state's commitment to advancing the ambitious rail corridor, projected to cost around Rs. 16,000 crores.

However, the project is not without its challenges. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has recently announced a reroute decision, aiming to enhance economic viability and avoid costly tunnel construction in hilly terrain. The proposed alteration, shifting the route via Shirdi, has thrown a curveball for the district administration, particularly concerning the 45 hectares of land acquired earlier for the original alignment.

The Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation, operating under the government's umbrella, initiated the land acquisition process, compensating farmers with Rs. 59 crores for the initial 45 hectares. With the proposed route change, uncertainty looms over the fate of this acquired land and the compensation provided.

The altered route extends the Nashik-Pune railway line by 33 km, including Shirdi in its path. This adjustment is expected to make the semi-high-speed train more efficient in covering the distance between Mumbai and Shirdi, addressing challenges posed by numerous tunnels on the original route, which substantially increased project costs.

Despite the route change announcement, the district administration is in a 'wait and watch' mode, seeking clarity on the fate of the already acquired land and compensation. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's decision has prompted the administration to await specific instructions from the railway authorities.

An official of Nashik district collectorate, emphasized the crucial need for information from Maharail to make informed decisions regarding the acquired land and compensation. The district administration has submitted a demand for Rs. 100 crores from a fund of Rs. 250 crores for further land acquisition, highlighting the ongoing challenges posed by the altered route.

"As the project moves forward, final approval from the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) is awaited. The work on this ambitious rail corridor is poised to commence only after receiving the green light from the apex body, ensuring that the Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail becomes a reality for the residents of Maharashtra" said an official of Maharail.

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