NEW DELHI: Nearly 90% of the land in Maharashtra’s Palghar town required for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project could not be acquired by the authorities in the last two years.
An RTI reply received by this newspaper has disclosed that only 30.02 hectares out of 286.26 hectares land could be acquired.
The RTI reply said that approximately Rs 5,610 crore has been spent on the project until October 2019, out of the nearly Rs 1.08 lakh crore required for the corridor according to the feasibility report.
The reply disclosed that rail tracks based on Shinkansen technology will be imported from Japan.
The Narendra Modi government has often spoken about the project being executed under ‘Make in India’ and through ‘Transfer of Technology’ while assuring a major boost in job opportunities.
According to a PIB press release, issued by the Ministry of Railway on September 11, 2017, one of the main objectives of the project is “Make in India,” which is to be realized before commissioning of the project.
“The Make in India objective will also ensure that most of the amount invested in this project would be spent and utilized within India,” the release had said.
The RTI reply said that the maximum amount of land required for the project is in Palghar and it has seen minimum acquisition. Till date, only 118 hectares of land from government departments, 2.83 hectares of forest land and 429 hectares of private land have been acquired.
The National High Speed Railway Corporation, which is responsible for construction, has said: “land acquisition is underway and gradually picking up in Palghar.”
“Shinkansen technology is being used for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project and many components, including rail, will be procured from Japan,” said NHSRCL in an e-mail reply.
While NHSRCL said the project will be completed within the deadline, sources said that land acquisition has been witnessing several hurdles and may take longer.
In September 2017, PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone for the project in Ahmedabad.