Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said the Pune-Nashik Semi High-Speed train project will be completed in record time as it was an important project that will give an impetus to agricultural and industrial growth in three districts – Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik.
Pawar held a meeting in Mumbai, where officials of the Maharashtra Railway Infrastructure Development Limited (MRIDL) made a presentation on the project, which aims to bring down the travelling time between Pune and Nashik to only 90 minutes. The proposed semi high-speed train will run at a speed of 200 km/hour, and will stop at 24 stations passing through Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts.
“Although the state is presently reeling under the coronavirus pandemic, we will complete this project in record time by involving local public representatives. The project won’t experience any fund crunch,” said Pawar at the meeting. State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Labour Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Transport Minister Anil Parab, as well as several public representatives, were present for the meeting.
The MRIDL was formed in September 2018 by the Railway Ministry and Maharashtra government as a special purpose vehicle to expedite pending railway projects in the state. In February 2020, the Union Railway Ministry had given in-principle approval to the revised detailed project report.
“Pune and Nashik are leading districts in industrial and agriculture development. The train project, which will connect the two districts via Ahmednagar, will boost sectors such as tourism, education, farming, trade and will directly and indirectly create thousands of jobs for local youth,” said Pawar.
The farmers, whose land will be acquired for this project, will get compensation as per the existing act and in addition, local residents will be given preference in allocation of stalls at railway stations.
The line will cover a distance of 231.716 km and would require the state government to acquire a total of 1,300 hectares for the purpose. The project will require construction of a total of 24 tunnels. The entire cost of the project has been pegged at about Rs 13,800 crore, of which Rs 1,500 crore is to be raised by both state and central government. The remaining amount will be borrowed from national and international agencies.
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