Route Mumbai-Hyderabad bullet train through Marathwada, demands Ashok Chavan
Public works department (PWD) minister Ashok Chavan has demanded that the state should suggest connectivity of the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Hyderabad through Marathwada region. Chavan made the demand through a letter to chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray, saying the state should ask the Centre to take the route from Aurangabad, Jalna and Nanded up to Hyderabad.
Currently, the proposed high-speed rail corridor is passing through Raigad, Pune and Solapur districts of the state. However, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has already started the LiDar survey of the proposed route to prepare the final alignment as detailed project report (DPR) for the corridor.
In the letter, which Chavan handed over to CM, the minister outlined the need and convenience the project would bring to the region, which is considered backward. “NHSRCL is working to setup a bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Hyderabad via Pune and Solapur. But Marathwada is not getting its due, as per this plan. For the Mumbai-Hyderabad bullet train, a route through Aurangabad-Jalna-Nanded is also available. Therefore, the state must immediately send a proposal to the Centre to alter the route,” the letter said.
The minister further said the department will start land acquisition for the proposed extension of the Jalna-Nanded connector to the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. “For this highway project, land is being acquired. It is possible to extend the Mumbai-Nagpur bullet train project to Jalna-Nanded. The same route can be extended from Nanded to Hyderabad,” he suggested.
Meanwhile, in a meeting, Thackeray directed officials to expedite work on Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. Phase one of the 701-km expressway between Nagpur and Shirdi, which was expected to be commissioned on May 1, this year, is 72% completed. The CM also directed officials to ensure facilities for motorists including petrol pumps are set up on the 701-km which is named after Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
The CM also took stock of the proposed coastal highway being undertaking by PWD to connect Mumbai and Konkan regions, and Versova-Bandra Sea Link in Mumbai, which is undertaken by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). Stating that the Coastal highway project is crucial for connectivity and tourism development in Konkan, Thackeray said the highway should be a four-lane road and the planning should be in a manner that the least amount of land acquisition would be required for the project. He also added that priority should be given to flyover works on the existing highway.
He also reviewed the progress of the projects undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), including Metro rail projects and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL). According to a statement from the CM’s office, around 35% to 40% of the work on the 21.8-km MTHL project has been completed so far, and the link connecting is expected to be commissioned by September 2023.