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Govt says no to BKC land for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train

Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Prashant Hamine

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has informed the Centre that it needs the 0.9 hectares of the plot of land at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) for its International Finance Service Center (IFSC). The State Government has informed the Center that it can consider land available at Dharavi for the 508 Km Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. This was stated by the Minister for Public Transport Diwakar Raote in the Legislative Council yesterday while replying to a short duration debate on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project raised by Sanjay Dutt (Congress) and others.

He further disclosed that in respect to the second Bullet Train route between Mumbai and Kolkata, the State has recommended to the Center to consider the route to pass through Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. A Spanish company has been asked to prepare the feasibility report for the project.

Replying to the debate, the Minister for Public Transport stated that the first phase of the project is to be completed by 2023. The total cost of the project is Rs 98,000 crore. Raote said that 80 percent of the project cost is in loan from Japan. The rest of the 20 percent cost is to be shared equally by the Center and Gujarat and Maharashtra. The State shall have to bear Rs 125 crore share for the project.

The Minister for Public Transport further stated that the parking for the Bullet Train project is underground. Raote disclosed that the Mumbai-Thane segment of the route will be underground. The project will require less land to be acquired in the State. He said that since it is a Government project, only the Government land will be needed to be acquired. The ground breaking ceremony of the project is to be held in September next month.

Taking part in the debate, Dr Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena) remarked that the Government is brandishing the axe in the dark. She argued that the Government was pushing the project for the benefit of a few Jewellery businessmen. Rahul Narvekar (NCP) suggested that the Government should instead allocate land for the Bullet Train either at Wadala or at the vacant Khar lands in Mumbai.

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