MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government told the Centre that it cannot make the land at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) available for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. It offered land at Dharavi instead as BKC land was needed for the International Finance service Centre (IFSC).
Transport minister Diwakar Raote told the legislative council this on Friday in response to a debate initiated by Congress member Sanjay Dutt.
Diwakar Raote further said that for the Mumbai-Kolkata bullet train project, the state has recommended consider the route across Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur.
A Spanish company has been asked to prepare the feasibility report for the project, he said. Replying to the debate, the minister stated that the first phase of the project is to be completed by 2023 and the total cost is Rs 98,000 crore.
Almost 80 per cent of the cost has been loaned by Japan, while the rest is to be shared equally by the Centre, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Diwakar Raote further stated that the loan is for 50 years and will not be repaid for the first ten. Maharashtra will have to bear a cost of Rs 125 crore for the project.
Raote said that part of the route passes through backward districts like Palghar where industrial development is needed. A port is under development close to the route.
The minister further stated that apart from parking, the Mumbai-Thane segment of the project would be underground, which is why it requires less land in the state. The ground breaking ceremony of the project is likely to be held in September.
Raising the debate, Sanjay Dutt argued that the project cost is to shoot up to Rs 1,40,000 crore due to the delay. He contended that the purpose of the Center insisting on BKC plot is to affect the IFSC project.
Dr Neelam Gorhei of the Shiv Sena argued that the government was pushing the project for the benefit of a few Jewellery businessmen.
Rahul Narvekar of the NCP suggested that the government should instead allocate land for bullet trains either at Wadala or at vacant salt-pan lands on Mumbai’s eastern sea front.