The new government in Maharashtra led by CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis is expected to fast-track the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project.
The project has hit a roadblock on the Maharashtra side due to land acquisition issues, but the work is rapidly progressing on the Gujarat side of the project.
With the return of the BJP in Maharashtra, the state administration has shifted the focus to completing the land acquisition.
According to News 18, only 150 hectares out of the required 298 hectares had been acquired in Maharashtra until this April. The state government is looking to acquire the remaining part by convincing the nine villages in the Palghar district that have resisted the project.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) is the country’s only sanctioned high-speed rail project. The ambitious high-speed railway network between two of the most developed cities in western India will pass through the 508-km-long network through Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar in Maharashtra and Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
According to the Ministry of Railways, all statutory clearances relating to wildlife, the coastal regulation zone (CRZ), and forest clearance have been obtained for the project. Of the 1,396 hectares of land needed for the MAHSR project, 98.79 per cent of the land required in Gujarat has been acquired, while in neighboring Maharashtra, the figure stands at 71.49 per cent. The central government has acquired 100 per cent of the 7.9 hectares of land required in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Besides stonewalling the project by refusing to co-operate in land acquisition, the Thackeray-led dispensation also fueled divisive rhetoric to oppose it.
At a political rally in Mumbai, Thackeray made a bizarre allegation that the Bullet Train project was being implemented to separate Mumbai from the rest of Maharashtra.
The MVA government also refused to hand over government land for the BKC underground station of the Bullet Train Project.