Uddhav writes to PM to rejig Mum-Hyd bullet train route

In a marked change from its stilted attitude towards the country’s first bullet train line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the MVA government has proactively offered to cooperate on the Mumbai-Nagpur highspeed rail corridor, requested the Centre to realign the Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad high-speed corridor via Jalna-Nanded and proposed another one between Pune and Aurangabad.

“MSRDC is of the view that the proposed Nagpur-Nasik-Mumbai high-speed rail corridor may be accommodated within right of way of the Samruddhi Mahamarg for approximately 80% of its length,” CM Uddhav Thackeray has written to PM Narendra Modi. “It is felt that if Government of India and Government of Maharashtra collaborate along the Samruddhi Mahamarg, the execution of the Mumbai-Nashik-Nagpur HSR can be started at the earliest,” the letter said.

The rail corridor was planned alongside the Mahamarg from inception, but the MVA government’s eagerness to go ahead with the plan is what stands out.

The CM went on to suggest that since the Mumbai-Nagpur HSR will be within the Samruddhi Mahamarg ROW up to Jalna, it can be extended to Hyderabad. “If the same logic of accommodating the HSR within the RoW of an expressway, as is proposed between Nagpur and Mumbai, is applied, the Mumbai-Hyderabad HSR can be planned along the Mumbai-Nanded expressway via Jalna and further within the RoW of the proposed expressway between Nanded and Hyderabad,” Thackeray said in his two-page letter early this month.

Thackeray also suggested an HSR route between Pune and Aurangabad. “It should be noted that Mumbai-Nagpur connects Mumbai-Nashik-Aurangabad. The Mumbai-Hyderabad alignment connects Mumbai to Pune on HSR route. Maharashtra has planned a semi-HSR between Pune and Nashik. HSR connectivity between Pune and Aurangabad will complete a quadrilateral in the most important industrial corridor. The Pune-Nashik-Aurangabad triangle is already an anchor of auto industry in the state,” he said further in his two-page letter.

However, on Monday, officials of the National High-Speed Rail Corporation told villagers in Thane district that feasibility for a proposed Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad project is being studied. A total of 1,200 hectares will be required in Thane district. The 649.76km route, if given the nod, will have 11 stations and cut travel time to Hyderabad from 14 hours to three hours, an official said.

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