Bul­let train work to start in Maha only af­ter mon­soon

Land Ac­qui­si­tion Trou­bles De­lay State Cor­ri­dor

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Man­thanK.Me­hta @times­group.com

Mum­bai: With land ac­qui­si­tion in Ma­ha­rash­tra lag­ging, the Mum­bai-Ahmed­abad bul­let train project work is ex­pected to take off in the state only post-mon­soon.

The Na­tional High Speed Rail Cor­po­ra­tion (NHSRC), which is im­ple­ment­ing the high-speed train cor­ri­dor project, has been find­ing land ac­qui­si­tion in Ma­ha­rash­tra to be an up­hill task de­spite loos­en­ing its purse strings.

A se­nior NHSRC of­fi­cial as­so­ci­ated with the project said, “We can do the prepara­tory work or even in­vite and fi­nalise ten­ders, but the ac­tual work on the ground will be­ing in Mum­bai, Thane and Pal­ghar only af­ter the end of mon­soon .”

He said that the de­signs and draw­ings for the ter­mi­nal build­ing at Ban­dra-Kurla Com­plex are in the fi­nal stages of ap­proval and once the per­mis­sions are re­ceived, ten­ders can be floated and awarded. “Even here, the work on ground will be­gin only af­ter mon­soon.”

In Pal­ghar, lo­cals are re­fus­ing to budge even as NHSRC and rev­enue of­fi­cials have been mak­ing sev­eral at­tempts. At some places, they are not al­low­ing land sur­vey­ors to even set foot in their vil­lages and to

was the dead­line for land ac­qui­si­tion con­trol the sit­u­a­tion, po­lice per­son­nel have to be called. The lo­cals are upset as they feel they will not be able to reap the ben­e­fits of the bul­let train which is meant to serve the “af­flu­ent class” of Mum­bai and Gu­jarat.

In Ma­ha­rash­tra,a to­tal of 353 hectares of land is to be ac­quired in 108 vil­lages. Nearly 155km of the bul­let train will pass through the state and have sta­tions at BKC, Thane and Boisar. The land ac­qui­si­tion process was to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2018 but as of to­day, only five peo­ple have given their con­sent and only 9.29 hectares 17.5m, in­clud­ing 4m-wide ser­vice road of land has been ac­quired in Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Bhi­wandi area.

The first trial run of the Mum­bai-Ahmed­abad bul­let train will be car­ried out on the 50km stretch be­tween Bil­limora and Su­rat be­fore Au­gust 15, 2022, even though the com­plete cor­ri­dor may not be up by then.

The bul­let train, which will run at 350kmph, will cover a dis­tance of 508km in a lit­tle over two hours. The orig­i­nal dead­line to start bul­let train ser­vice was set for 2023, but was later ad­vanced by a year to Au­gust 15, 2022, by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to mark 75 years of In­de­pen­dence.

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