Route Change For Nashik-Pune High-Speed Rail Sparks Uncertainty Over Acquired Land

Route Change For Nashik-Pune High-Speed Rail Sparks Uncertainty Over Acquired Land

The alteration aims to make the project economically viable and avoid costly tunnel construction in hilly terrain. This change, shifting the route via Shirdi, poses a challenge for the district administration concerning the 45 hectares of land acquired earlier for the original alignment.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Monday, February 19, 2024, 06:13 PM IST
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Route Change For Nashik-Pune High-Speed Rail Sparks Uncertainty Over Acquired Land | File Photo

The proposed Nashik to Pune high-speed rail line faces a reroute decision by the state government, as announced by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The alteration aims to make the project economically viable and avoid costly tunnel construction in hilly terrain. This change, shifting the route via Shirdi, poses a challenge for the district administration concerning the 45 hectares of land acquired earlier for the original alignment.

The Maharashtra Rail Corporation, under the government, initiated the land acquisition process for the Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail line, estimated at Rs. 16,000 crores. The project's funding involves a ten percent contribution from both the state and central governments, with the remainder secured through loans. The Maharashtra Rail Corporation had acquired 45 hectares of land in Nashik district for the initial project, compensating farmers with Rs. 59 crores.

District administration seeking clarity

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's announcement of the route change has left the district administration seeking clarity on the fate of the already acquired land and compensation. No official directive has been issued by the government regarding the utilization or return of the funds allocated for the acquired land.

The Maharashtra Rail Corporation has proposed a total land acquisition of about 287 hectares in 22 villages of Nashik and Sinnar talukas. The district administration has submitted a demand for Rs. 100 crores from a fund of Rs. 250 crores for this purpose. However, the altered route brings uncertainty to the compensation given to landowners for the initial land acquisition.

The new route extends the Nashik to Pune railway line by 33 km, incorporating Shirdi. This semi-high-speed train is expected to cover the distance between Mumbai and Shirdi more efficiently. The original route faced challenges due to numerous tunnels, increasing project costs significantly. The proposal to redirect the rail line via Shirdi aims to address these challenges.

Despite the route change announcement, the district administration awaits specific instructions from the railway administration. Jalaj Sharma, the Collector of Nashik, emphasized the need for information from Maharail to make informed decisions regarding the acquired land and compensation.

The altered route for the Nashik-Pune high-speed rail line has raised questions about the fate of already acquired land, requiring clarity from relevant authorities. The district administration is in a 'wait and watch' mode until directives are received from Maharail.

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