Fadnavis claimed that proposal has been accepted by Japanese company funding the train project
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis succeeded in convincing the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to change the route of Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train, the pet project of PM Narendra Modi.
JICA had been roped in to finance the project and, according to Mr Fadnavis, JICA has accepted his request to plan the train’s route via Nashik.
The agency had already submitted the final report on the feasibility study of the proposed high-speed rail system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route to railway minister Suresh Prabhu in July this year. The ambitious project would cost approximately Rs 98,805 crore, the agency had stated.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train is Prime minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. In his railway budget speech in March, Mr Prabhu had said that “quick and appropriate action” on executing the high-speed project would be initiated after the submission of the JICA’s final report.
According to initial proposal, the high-speed train corridor is expected to halt at Thane (that will connect both Central and Navi Mumbai), Virar, Palghar, Vapi, Valsad and finally Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, during his visit to Japan, Mr Fadnavis requested the JICA to change the route of Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train on Friday.
“I suggested to the JICA that the bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai should go via Nashik and it has agreed to the proposal,” said Mr Fadnavis.
He further said that the JICA also assured to fast-track the funding for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project between
Sewri and Nhava-Sheva so that Maharashtra could start its bidding process by December end.
“The JICA will start public consultation on Mumbai Metro next week and will also support the bullet train project,”
Mr Fadnavis added.
Meanwhile, the proposal to add Nashik to the route came as a surprise to official staff of the chief minister who accompanied him to Japan.
Praveen Singh Pardeshi, principal secretary, confirmed via text messages that the JICA had agreed to carry out a study of Ahmedabad-Mumbai through Nashik. However, he did not elaborate on the detailed route of the proposed train.
According to an official from the CMO, if the Nashik route is selected, it will boost the development of north Maharashtra region, especially the tribal belt. “Nashik, Igatpuri and Sinnar from the district are on the route proposed for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor and it will be good if the bullet train goes through this region,” said the official from chief minister office, under the condition of anonymity.