State news

Mumbai Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project Gathers Speed

By Dilip Chaware

The Mumbai—Ahmedabad bullet train project has gathered speed in Maharashtra following concrete action by chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadanvis. An important component of the project is coming up in Bhiwandi in Thane district now that land acquisition for it is nearing completion.

The Bhiwandi complex comprises a massive depot which will be spread over a plot of nearly 58 hectares. Maintenance, repairing and allied functions of the rakes will be performed from this depot, for which land acquisition has been completed by the National High Speed Corporation Limited. Possession of the acquired land will take place soon. This depot will be supplementary to the main terminus at Surat and Sabarmati in Gujarat. It will be equipped to operate 36 services daily.

The Bullet Train project will require 1396 hectares of land in Maharashtra, Gujarat and in Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. This includes 1025 hectares private and 371 hectares government-owned land. In Maharashtra, 434 hectares of land will be required. So far, nearly 72 percent of the land has been acquired in the state. Efforts are on to accelerate the acquisition of the remaining area.

The total project was originally estimated to cost around Rs.1.1 lakh crore, out of which Rs.88,000 crore will be supplied by Janan’s JICA as a soft loan.

The Bullet Train is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project, which had been hampered due to the disinterest shown by the previous tri-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Shinde and Fadanvis have brought it back on fast track though the original deadline of inaugurating the project by 2023 is not possible to achieve but completion will be achieved as early as possible.

Dilip Chaware
A veteran journalist, formerly Special Correspondent, The Times of India, Mumbai.



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