Bullet train to race to Pune and Nashik?!

The proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train will now have a longer route, with the Centre accepting the Maharashtra state government's proposal to extend the high-speed corridor to Pune and Nashik.

The clearance is a huge victory for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had drawn flak from various groups for accepting a raw deal as most part of the corridor will run through Gujarat despite both states contributing equal money for it.

Sources said the approval is a part of the bargain that the CM struck with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in exchange for a piece of land at Bandra Kurla Complex owned by MMRDA to build the bullet train terminus.

Until recently, the MMRDA was opposed to a proposal by the railways to set up the terminus at BKC. The agency said it wanted the 30-hectare plot at G block for an international financial services centre. The MMRDA also rejected an alternative plan to construct an underground terminus at the same site citing feasibility issues.

The stand-off between the railways and MMRDA was threatening to derail both the projects. It was general perception that despite bearing 25 per cent of the cost, same as that of Gujarat, the 506 km corridor was to have only four stations in Maharashtra; ­ Gujarat to have eight.

Acquiring land to extend the project to Pune and Nashik won't be a problem as there is ample space available along Pune-Mumbai Expressway. Similarly, the state is currently in the process of implementing the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and some part of it traverses through Nashik district. 

No comments: