Mumbai: Shiv Sena controlled Thane Civil Corporation’s move to reject the transfer of land for Rs 1.08 lakh crore bullet train project has astounded its estranged ally BJP. The ruling party in TMC has also rejected a proposal to acknowledge compensation from the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd, in charge of the bullet train project, for the transfer of nearly 2000 hectare land. It has essentially dumped the proposition in the cold storage and put the ball in the court of the BJP-led Government at the Centre.
The destiny of the bullet train hangs in the balance. Five years after the Centre sanctioned 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tall Speed Rail Corridor, only 97 hectares out of the 432 hectares of land in Maharashtra has been procured which is only 22% of the total land required. In Gujarat, a total of 825 hectares out of 956 hectares have been obtained, which is 86%. Unless the state and Centre swing into action land acquisition and development will not take put.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had questioned the very purpose of the bullet train saying that it will benefit Gujarat more and not Maharashtra. Last Sunday at his web address to citizens Thackeray however, said the issues with regard to Kanjurmarg land, where the Centre has staked its claim over ownership or bullet train, can be resolved through dialogue. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in his response said BJP was always ready for dialogue but wanted the Thackeray-led government not to waste time but start car shed project at Aarey Colony.
This move comes days after the party led Maha Vikas Aghadi government faced an embarrassment after the Bombay High Court stayed the Mumbai Suburban District Collector’s decision to transfer land for metro 3 car shed project at Kanjurmarg. Sena has led a scathing attack against BJP for putting roadblock in the development projects being pursued by the MVA government in Maharashtra and warned that it will do the same for the Central government projects be it bullet train or other infrastructure projects.