The Narendra Modi government's Rs 98,000-crore bullet train project might be in serious trouble, after the Maharashtra government raised objections to it, The Indian Express reported. The state is purportedly not allowing the railways to construct the Mumbai station, one of the terminals of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. The station was supposed to be built in the swank Bandra Kurla Complex area in Mumbai, but Maharashtra has now contended that it will get in the way of their plans to build a financial centre there.
According to the report, which could not be independently verified, officials from the Railway Ministry met Maharashtra authorities, including the chief secretary and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, twice in May. However, they could not arrive at a compromise.
Railways needs 0.9 hectares in the 28-hectare BKC to build the station. However, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority chief UPS Madan said more land than that would become unavailable for the financial centre because of existing norms. “Once an underground station is built there, we will not be able to build anything on the ground, so the loss of land to us is more than just 0.9 hectares,” he said. He also claimed that the Railways did not communicate their plans to them when they were surveying the area for the project, else the MMRDA “would have told them” of these restrictions.
The state government is also reportedly miffed at the fact that most of the bullet train corridor falls in Gujarat, and believes it is not worth the expense unless it is extended deeper into Maharashtra.