The high-speed monster: Abe and Modi at the bullet train foundation.

The high-speed monster: Abe and Modi at the bullet train foundation.

Brakes on Modi’s Bullet Train; new govt likely to divert funds to farmers

Sena-NCP-Cong govt may write-off farm loans by cutting on state's share for train

Agency Report | New Delhi | 26 November, 2019 | 11:00 PM

Modi's Bullet train project, being implemented by the National High-Speed Railway Corp Ltd (NHSRCL), may hit a barrier if the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine comes to power in Maharashtra. Maharashtra's new Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, after taking over, is likely to announce a farm loan waiver scheme by cutting on the state's share in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 508-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed train project.

According to the top NCP leadership, the three parties have decided that the money which is to be given by the state government for the Bullet Train will be diverted to the farmer welfare scheme as it is part of the common minimum programme they have agreed on.

Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had jointly laid the foundation stone for the Bullet Train project in Ahmedabad in September 2017.

A senior NCP source said that “during the first meeting of the three parties in Mumbai last week, discussions were held on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project in which we informed the leaders that, according to Central government, the Maharashtra government would be bearing Rs 5,000 crore of the total Rs 1.08 lakh crore cost”.

“And then we came to a conclusion that once we form the government in the state we will inform the Central government that the state government will not bear the cost of the high-speed train project and will spend the same money on some other pro-people schemes,” he said.

The party source said that the state government will spend the amount for farmers’ welfare.

The 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train project is slated to be completed by 2023.

The NHSRCL has, till date, acquired over 48 per cent of the land for the project and also floated tenders for several works. (IANS)