Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Rs 98,000-crore bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai has hit a roadblock.
A media report suggests that the Maharashtra government is not allowing the Railways to build the most crucial station at the Bandra-Kurla complex (BKC) in Mumbai.
As per a plan prepared by Japanese consultants, who surveyed all options, the Mumbai station was to be constructed underground at the BKC — the central business district in the western suburb.
However, according to the state government, the proposed station would hamper its plans to build a financial centre at the same place.
Even the fact that the station would be underground hasn’t impressed the state government.
Despite two rounds of meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railway Ministry officials, nothing conclusive could be reached.
The state told the Railways that it would incur a loss of Rs 10,000 cr if the proposed station in built at that place.
On this it is likely that the Railways officials would speak to PM Modi to arrive at a solution.
The station would only need 0.9 hectares to build access to the underground station out of 28-hectare land, but Maharashtra believes that as per rules a large portion of the proposed financial centre would become inaccessible. However, the Railways contend that it would only enhance the profile of the proposed centre.
The Railways have also been told that since only a small section of the bullet train corridor falls in Maharashtra, such a large revenue loss cannot be justified. The state government has also suggested Railways to use its own vacant land for a station or extend the project beyond Mumbai.
Japanese consultants had opted for BKC because it would provide better traffic and a superior accessibility to the project.