Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious bullet train project between Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Mumbai may be scrapped if the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress take power in Maharashtra.
According to the reports, the common minimum programme decided by the grand alliance of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress has decided to scrap the bullet train project by withholding Maharashtra’s share of expenditure to the Rs 1 lakh crore project.
The government, if at all formed, will be absolving itself of the financial load of the project. The common minimum programme being worked out by the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress plans to go big on loan waivers and intends to use the share of the state fund for building the high-speed rail line project (25%) for the farm-loan waiver programs.
Reportedly, the share of Maharashtra in the cost of building the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail line will be given to farmers in the form of loan waivers.
The foundation stone for the bullet train was laid back in 2017 when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited Modi in Ahmedabad. In order to aid the project, India is taking a loan of Rs 88,000 from Japan at an interest rate of 0.1%.
The proposed bullet train will run approximately 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad with a top speed of 320 km/hr. The deadline for the project is August 15, 2022.
The National High-Speed Railway Corporation (NHSRCL), which is responsible for the construction, has already acquired over 48 per cent of the land for the project and also floated tenders for several works.
The Congress-NCP alliance are working out on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) to form 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.