Mum­bai-Ahmedabad bul­let train cor­ri­dor de­sign to be tweaked

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Sri­nand Jha sri­nand­jha@hin­dus­tan­times.com Bhadra Sinha let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The de­sign and align­ment of the am­bi­tious Mum­bai-Ahmedabad high­speed cor­ri­dor will be tweaked after the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment’s re­fused to spare land at Ban­dra-Kurla Com­plex to build the orig­i­nat­ing sta­tion, ac­cord­ing to rail­way sources.

The gov­ern­ment owns 28 hectares in BKC. Al­though the rail­ways need 4.5 hectares un­der­ground and .9 hectares on sur­face level, the state has ex­pressed reser­va­tions on grounds that it could af­fect their plan to build an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial ser­vices cen­tre at the com­plex.

The gov­ern­ment has sug­gested the sta­tion be moved to an al­ter­na­tive location at Ban­dra Recla­ma­tion. “We sug­gested the rail­way officials a few plots in the city, in­clud­ing one near Ban­dra sta­tion. They were sup­posed check their fea­si­bil­ity. We are await­ing their re­ply. We will not be able to de­velop IFSC if the sta­tion comes up on BKC land. The CM will take a de­ci­sion if the rail­way de­part­ment in­sists on BKC land,” said a top of­fi­cial.

The Supreme Court came down heav­ily on Tamil Nadu chief min­is­ter J Jay­alalithaa on Wed­nes­day for fil­ing scores of defama­tion cases against ac­tivists and po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, say­ing the AIADMK chief was us­ing the law to set­tle per­sonal scores.

The top court ob­served Tamil Nadu was the only state that used the gov­ern­ment machin­ery to fight defama­tion cases after a pe­ti­tion al­leged the Jay­alalithaa ad­min­is­tra­tion was mis­us­ing the law. “You can’t slap defama­tion cases on peo­ple for re­port­ing on the chief min­is­ter’s health con­di­tion,” the apex court said. “As a pub­lic fig­ure, you (Jay­alalithaa) must face crit­i­cism. You fight on a per­sonal level.”

In the last five years, Tamil Nadu has filed 213 defama­tion cases against po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and me­dia houses for “deroga­tory state­ments” against Jay­alalithaa. Re­port­ing on the CM’s va­ca­tions, crit­i­cis­ing her gov­ern­ment for wa­ter scarcity or not ful­fill­ing poll prom­ises have all been termed deroga­tory. This is the sec­ond time in two months that the SC has crit­i­cised the state gov­ern­ment for the flurry of defama­tion cases.

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