Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has requested the Centre to change the alignment of the Mumbai-Hyderabad high-speed rail (HSR) corridor to take it via the Jalna-Nanded route, and sought a similar project between Pune and Aurangabad.
Thackeray has made the request in a two-page letter written recently to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The CM also expressed willingness to accommodate the Mumbai-Nagpur HSR within the right of way (RoW) of the Samruddhi Mahamarg (super communication expressway linking the two key cities of Maharashtra).
In the letter, Thackeray pointed out that Mumbai-Nagpur expressway connects Mumbai-Nashik-Aurangabad.
The present alignment of Mumbai-Hyderabad HSR connects Mumbai to Pune, while Maharashtra government has planned a semi-HSR connectivity between Pune and Nashik, he said.
"A HSR connectivity between Pune and Aurangabad will complete that quadrilateral which is the most important industrial corridor and Pune-Nashik-Aurangabad triangle is already an anchor of the auto industry in the state," the letter said.
The Railwvarsitiesay ministry has proposed development of Nagpur-Nashik-Mumbai and Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad high-speed rail corridors in Maharashtra under recently approved seven additional HSR projects.
National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) has been asked to undertake the final location survey, feasibility study and also prepare DPR (detailed project report) of the proposed corridors.
According to Thackeray's letter, NHSRCL has proposed to develop the HSR corridor along Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg, an access controlled greenfield expressway of 701km length with 120 meters wide RoW.
He said the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation is of the view that the proposed Nagpur-Nasik-Mumbai HSR corridor may be accommodated within the RoW of Samruddhi Mahamarg for approximately 80 per cent of the length.
"If the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra collaborate along Samruddhi Mahamarg, the execution of the Mumbai-Nashik-Nagpur HSR can be started at the earliest," Thackeray wrote.
Pointing out that the state government has already planned an expressway between Nanded and Jalna, Thackeray said since Mumbai-Nagpur HSR will be within the Samruddhi Mahamarg RoW up to Jalna, the same may be extended to Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, a public consultation meeting was organised at Thane collector office for the proposed Mumbai-Hyderabad HSR corridor, according to an official of NHSRCL.
NHSRCL presented the Social Impact Assessment and Environment Impact Assessment studies required for the preparation of DPR for the proposed corridor, he said.
The corridor, once completed, is expected to reduce the travel time between the two cities to three hours from current 14 hours.
The length of the proposed Mumbai-Hyderabad HSR corridor is approximately 650 km and will be covering four districts - namely Thane, Raigad, Pune, and Solapur in Maharashtra, one district of Karnataka and three districts of Telangana. The project will have 10 stations.
"This project is not yet sanctioned by the government and the DPR is expected to be submitted by early next year," said the official.
According to a press release issued by the Thane collector's office, deputy collector (Land Acquisition) Prashant chaired the public consultation meeting where officials of NHSRCL and project consultants were also present.
"The corporation that is implementing the project will take note of the suggestions made by the attendees," the release stated.
According to the release, the survey of the land required for the project will be done using drones.