High-level panel to take call on Mumbai terminus of bullet train

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2016 22:27 IST

A high-level committee of the state government will decide next week the fate of the proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train terminus proposed at Bandra Kurla Campus.

The meeting between the railway board and a committee led by the chief secretary is expected to take place next week.

Earlier, the state government was not willing to part with any plot at the BKC for the project since it has planned an International Financial Service Centre there and would need land for the same.

In a letter written to the Centre two months ago, the state had turned down the railways’ demand saying it would not be possible to do away with the land as the state has already planned the IFSC at the BKC. However, it has agreed to consider what railway officials are proposing after the issue was discussed in a meeting between chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and railways minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday.

“The railway board has now requested us for the meeting, in which they will make a presentation about the plan. For the first time, the board has informed us that the terminus will require very little land because it would be underground and the entry/exit points will be constructed on the ‘cut-and-cover’ basis,” said an official from the Mantralaya, who is privy to the issue.

He said the state had suggested three locations for the terminus in its letter two months ago to the Centre. “The state was not even ready for the cut-and-cover construction, as it feels it would disrupt the IFSC to a large extent. However, the Centre is firm on the terminus at BKC and unlikely to budge to our opposition. We had suggested them the terminus at Bandra, Kurla or Thane,” the officer said.

Nitin Kareer, principal secretary, urban development department, said, “The MMRDA has requested the meeting between the state and the centre to be held under the chief secretary, instead of conducting it at a lower rung as held earlier. The meeting is expected to be held in the next few days.”

Fadnavis had said two weeks ago that it would not be possible for the state to allot the land and an alternative land nearby was identified for the terminus.

Prabhu had said on Thursday that an amicable solution on the issue would be arrived at so that the infrastructure project was not affected and the interest of the state was safeguarded too.

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