Bullet train: Maharashtra mulls Dharavi as starting point, not BKC | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Bullet train: Maharashtra mulls Dharavi as starting point, not BKC

The starting point of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train has been a bone of contention between the state and the central governments

mumbai Updated: Aug 12, 2017 00:07 IST
Manasi Phadke
Speaking in the state legislative council, state transport minister Diwakar Raote said the government has not given any land for the project.
Speaking in the state legislative council, state transport minister Diwakar Raote said the government has not given any land for the project. (Representational photo)

The Maharashtra government is considering a plot at Dharavi to build the starting point of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project — Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. The state is considering this plot as an alternative to land in the business district of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), which the Union government wants.

Speaking in the state legislative council, state transport minister Diwakar Raote said the government has not given any land for the project. He also said the an International Financial Services Centre will come up at BKC.

“It is not true that the state government has approved setting aside land at BKC for the bullet train. We are looking for an alternative in Dharavi,” the Shiv Sena minister said.

The starting point of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train has been a bone of contention between the two governments. The Centre is keen on building the station at BKC, as it is one of Mumbai’s prime business district and the bullet train is expected to cater to the business travellers between the two cities.

However, the state government, wants to utilise the same plot for an International Financial Services Centre. The state had also proposed plots near Bandra Terminus and Kurla as an alternative. Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone for the project at Sabarmati, Gujarat, next month.

Raote added the state plans to build a portion of the train corridor from Mumbai to Thane underground to minimise land acquisition.

“Farmers whose lands the state will acquire will be given a fair compensation. Tribals along the belt will also benefit, as the corridor will bring in industrial growth in the area,” he said.

Raote assured the house that the bullet train project will not impact the already state’s finances. The transport minister said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would be giving a loan to cover 80% [approx R1 lakh crore] of the project cost, estimated to be close to Rs one lakh crore. While the Centre will fund 10%, the remaining 10% will be provided by Maharashtra and Gujarat governments.

However, other Sena members seem to be unhappy with the project. On Friday, MLC Neelam Gorhe said, “The project is not in the best interest of the Marathi population. It will only benefit diamond traders.” ‘