Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rethink on the upcoming Bullet Train project between Ahmedabad-Mumbai, terming it as a ‘white-elephant’.
Weeks after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government came in power, the Rs 100,000 crore plus project which is considered to be a dream project of PM Modi was put under a review.
The mega project is being executed by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd through a soft loan from Japan.
“We need to prioritise the developmental works needed in the state. We have to consider the financial implications before implementing such huge projects,” he said.
Thackeray’s comments were published in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’.
“Just because someone gives us an interest-free loan or with minimal interest, it does not mean that we just take it, snatch lands from our farmers for the project. After all this is like a white elephant which we don’t need at all,” he said.
“We need to find out who will really benefit from the Bullet Train project? How many businesses or industries really stand to gain from it. Please explain, then we will go before the public and then decide what needs to be done,” he added.
“It may be a dream project, it is not our dream. But once you wake up, the reality is right before you. That reality is not the dream,” he said on the question of how it is said to be the PM’s dream project.
As per the proposal, the Bullet Train will have 13 stations including Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar (in Maharashtra), Vapi, Billimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati (in Gujarat).
In Gujarat, the train will cover 350.53 km, while in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra, the train will cover 2km and 155.65 km respectively.