Published On : Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

No BKC Land For Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train: Maharashtra To Centre

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has told the Centre it needs a plot of land in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), which is also being sought by the Railways for the bullet train project, to set up a global finance centre.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has told the Centre the land in question, land measuring 0.9 hectares, will be used to set up an International Finance Service Center (IFSC), and the state is willing a provide an alternative site for the train project, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said today (Friday).

Speaking in the Legislative Council, Raote said the state government has informed the Centre it can consider allotting land in Dharavi, located a few kms away from BKC, for the high-speed train project.

The proposed IFSC is a venture conceptualised by the MMRDA, a Maharashtra government agency. The Railways wants to set up a terminus at BKC, the starting point from Mumbai side for the 508km high-speed train service, in which the state government is also a partner.

The minister was replying to a short duration debate on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project initiated by Sanjay Dutt (Congress) and others.

He said for the proposed second bullet train service between Mumbai and Kolkata, the state has recommended the Centre to consider the route to pass through Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. A Spanish company has been asked to prepare a feasibility report for the project.

Raote said the first phase of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project is to be completed by 2023 and it will incur a cost of Rs 98,000 crore.

He said 80 per cent of the project cost will be in the form of loan from Japan. The rest 20 per cent cost is to be shared equally by the Centre, and the governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Raote said the Japanese loan will be for 50 years and for the first 10 years, there shall be no repayment.

The Maharashtra government’s share in the project is around Rs 125 crore, he said, adding of the planned 12 stations on the entire route, four will fall in the state.

“A part of the route passes through backward districts like Palghar where industrial development is needed. A port is also under development close to the route.”

Raote said parking for the bullet train project would be underground. Also, the Mumbai-Thane segment will be built underground.

He said since it is a government project, only state-owned land will need to be acquired. The ground breaking ceremony of the project is to be held next month.

Initiating the debate earlier, Congress member Dutt argued the project cost is likely to shoot up to Rs 1,40,000 crore due to the delays in its execution.

Dutt said if the Centre insists on taking the BKC plot for the train service, it will affect the state’s IFSC project.

Neelam Gorhe (Shiv Sena) said the government appears clueless about implementing the project.

She argued the government was pushing the project for the benefit of a few who are into jewellery business.

Rahul Narvekar (NCP) said instead of BKC, the state government should allocate land for the bullet train either at Wadala, which lies in city limits, or at a vacant land in Khar in western suburbs.