MAHARASHTRA (Metro Rail News): National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has written to Maharashtra’s chief secretary, requesting him to intervene to resolve long-pending issues that are delaying the bullet train project. This move has come after a change in the government of Maharashtra. The letter was written on July 7 by former NHSRCL chief Satish Agnihotri, the day he was sacked by the Railway Board.
In the letter, Agnihotri said that one of the most important long-pending issues, which will affect the commencement of the work in Maharashtra, is the clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
The application for the clearance, after compliance with the conditions and the payment of the mandatory charges, was submitted in March 2021, the issue is still pending with the Maharashtra forest department, he added.
“Your kind intervention is requested in resolving aforesaid issues for providing encumbrance-free land at the earliest and expedite the acquisition of remaining land in Thane and Palghar districts,” Agnihotri stated in the letter.
According to Agnihotri, the Japanese have been requesting for the likely dates for the commencement of the civil work in Maharashtra as the tenders for underground stations at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and an undersea tunnel were cancelled after repeated postponement over the last couple of years.
The letter also includes a list of 16 important locations where the project is facing delays from the Maharashtra government due to issues related to land acquisition. The progress of land acquisition in Maharashtra for the bullet train project is moving very slowly with 72 per cent (313 hectares out of a total requirement of 434 hectares) of the land needed for the project acquired. Whereas physical possession has only been for 39 per cent of the land, which is 168 hectares.