Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, immediately after taking charge of his new position, ordered a review of all the projects sanctioned by the former government led by Devendra Fadnavi in the last six months. Thackeray has also asked to stop the car shed work for Metro 3 in Aarey forest zone. Another such project which is now under review is the bullet train project.
This has been one of the most ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The foundation stone ceremony of this project was organised in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, in September 2017. The total cost of this project is estimated around to Rs 1 lakh crore, out of which Maharashtra will have to bear approximately Rs 6,000 crore.
The project has been drawing flak from several quarters since it began. Those who have been opposing the project include not only the opposition parties, but also those people who stand to lose their land in the project. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) as well as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have protested on the ground against the land acquisition process for the project.
Now, as the CM has asked officers to review the project, another uproar has started regarding the continuation of the project in Maharashtra. Nationalist Congress Party leader and Uddhav's ministerial colleague Chhagan Bhujbal even remarked that the feasibility of bullet train project has to be checked. "What are the credentials of this project? Does the state and its people stand to benefit in any way with such huge amounts of money involved in the project? I think, this needs to be checked and understood," he said.
Also read: Bullet Train Likely to Miss Target as Land Acquisitions Create Hurdle
Another NCP leader, Jitendra Awhad demanded that the money that is being spent on this project should be used for overhaul of the suburban railways. "Sixty lakh daily commuters travel by suburban locals in Mumbai. The stories of their hardships are unimaginable. Why to waste money on such non-useful project when we have so many challenges at our doorstep?," Awhad questioned.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Raju Patil has also said, “Now Uddhav should stand on his decision and roll back the bullet train project.”
"The bullet train project is for people with big pockets. No common people either from Gujarat or Maharashtra will get any benefit of it. This project must be cancelled for the larger interest of economy as well as people of both states. Hope the new government in Maharashtra will not backtrack and ensure that the bullet train project gets cancelled," said CPI(M) leader Ashok Dhavale.
“If the Maha Vikas Aghadi takes a decision to oppose the bullet train project, then it will start another battle between the Centre and state,” he added.