Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project goes off track? Uddhav Thackeray says convince us it is useful

The Chief Minister spoke about the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project when he was asked about the future of the bullet train in an interview conducted by Saamana editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

While political parties have been strongly opposing the much-touted Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, now Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has himself hinted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious project may go off-track.

The high-speed line is being built with Japanese loans and technology, and its foundation stone was laid on September 14, 2017, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The Chief Minister spoke about the project when he was asked about the future of the bullet train in an interview conducted by Saamana editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

Stating that there should be deliberation on the bullet train project, Thackery said its important to take into account who benefits from the project too.

"The priorities of development should be decided after looking at the financial condition of the state. Just because someone is giving us a loan at low-interest rates or without interest, we should not burden ourselves... and then take lands of farmers...It's not feasible to take care of the 'white elephant' (bullet train)."

Thackeray further said, "It is important to see who will benefit from the project and how much will it help businesses. Prove how useful it is, then we will go to the public and see what to do."

Thackeray's cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray has been consistently opposing the project.

In the Union Budget present on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated that the high-speed train project will be 'actively pursued'.

Last month, Railway Board Chairman said that till date 47 per cent of the land has been acquired for the project, and the rest of the 53 per cent will be acquired in the next six months.

Meanwhile, farmers from over two dozen villages in Gujarat's Navsari district have opposed land acquisition and prevented officials from carrying out measurement of their farm plots.

In June 2018, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the project is likely to be completed by 2022, a year ahead of its estimated deadline, which is December 2023.

The bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will run a total length of 508 km, of which 21 km will be covered in the tunnel under the sea.




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