Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said that Mumbai-Ahmadabad bullet Train project which was likely to be completed in 2023 may see delays due to land acquisition issues in state of Maharashtra.
“Indian railway was committed to launch the bullet train in 2023. But there have been massive delays in land acquisition in Maharashtra for the bullet train. I have held talks with Maharashtra Chief Minister. The Railway Ministry is also in constant touch with Maharashtra government officials” Minister said in a virtual press conference.
Awaiting for more details on land acquisition challenges faced, and government will confirm the new date for likely completion of project, he added.
Land acquisition in state of Gujrat has hassle-free, 94 per cent of land required has already been acquired, land acquisition in Maharashtra has been stalling the project.
“Due to the delays in Maharashtra which was delaying the entire project, we have at least started the tendering process in Gujarat side. Tender award of Vapi-Ahmadabad stretch has been initiated. The work will be started soon,” said Goyal.
The Data from National High Speed Rail Ltd. (NHSRL), the undertaking institution for bullet train project, says 432 hectares of land is to be required in state of Maharashtra, of which mere 100 hectares (approx.) has been acquired so far.
Minister Goyal also pointed that, land acquisition has been a bane for railways infrastructure projects, cited an example of acquisition failure, where project has been stalling for four decades now.
He also assured that, capital expenditure in railways will see a significant rise, this year Indian railways will spend, 2.15 lakh crore, 1.07 lakh crore from budget allocation and another 1.02 lakh crore from extra budgetary allowances.
Speaking on budget he said, “The General Budget 2021 has been historic for Indian Railways. It has focussed on infrastructure projects in Indian Railways. The highest capital expenditure for Indian Railways will act as a huge catalyst to revitalise the economy and lead the Indian Railways towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.”