INTERVIEW | 'Bullet trains are magnets of development'

INTERVIEW | 'Bullet trains are magnets of development'

The bullet trains are magnets of development and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor would boost GDP to a great extent, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra

Fadnavis said."From wherever the bullet train goes, the area opens up," Fadnavis told DH in an interview on Sunday evening on the eve of completion of four years in office that falls on 31 October.

Fadnavis's statement comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Japan and meeting his counterpart Shinzo Abe at the 13th bilateral summit.

It may be recalled, during the 2017 visit of Abe to India, Japan had agreed to finance the bullet train project through a 50-year loan of Rs 88,000 crore at 0.1 per cent interest.

The Indian Railways is working on an August 2022 deadline for the 508-km-long project covering Gujarat and Maharashtra states and providing a high-speed link to business centres - Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Asked about the protests in twin districts of Thane and Palghar near Mumbai against land acquisition, Fadnavis said: "Yes, there were protests, but now people are giving land...much of the protests are politically motivated."

It needs to be mentioned here that, BJP's alliance partner, Shiv Sena and principal Opposition parties, Congress and NCP, and MNS has opposed the project.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his estranged cousin and MNS founder Raj Thackeray had often targetted Modi for what they said pushing the mega-project to Maharashtra.

Fadnavis said that bullet trains are magnets of development. "Look at China and Japan, they have an experience and how bullet trains have contributed to development," he said.

"In 10 years down the line, we would be a developed economy...projects like bullet trains would contribute to development, the GDP of the nation," he said about the PM's pet project.

According to him, the cement needed for the project would be from India, the iron would be from India, the bullet train would be made in India. "It is going to generate jobs here," he said, adding that it's a very "valuable project". "We cannot lag behind in development," he added.

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