Amid reports of grand alliance in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious bullet train project may face resistance from the state if the new government is formed. The alliance has decided to scrap the bullet train project in the common minimum programme prepared by the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress and withhold Maharashtra's share of expenditure to the Rs 1 lakh crore project, according to sources.
The government if formed will absolve itself of the financial load of the project and would ask the centre to bear the full expenses. The Common Minimum Programme prepared by the parties has given top priority to the crop loan waiver of farmers.
The proposed bullet train will run approximately 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a top speed of 320 kmph. It will make 70 trips per day between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at an interval of 20 minutes and each rake will have 10 coaches. The deadline for the project is August 15, 2022.
The project also faced in Maharashtra’s Palghar district where land is to be acquired from the villagers.
The villagers in Palghar are demanding the authorities to give them in writing that they will be provided with basic amenities in return to their nod to the bullet train project.
About 110 km of the 508 km train corridor passes through Palghar. The project requires an estimated 300 hectares across 73 villages, affecting about 3,000 people, in the stretch.
Land acquisition for the ambitious USD 17 billion bullet train project is being severely opposed by tribals and fruit growers in Palghar district.
Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP are at present working out modalities of forming a government with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to keep the BJP, the single largest party with 105 MLAs, away from power in the state. The Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls.