Mumbai, September 14: Shiv Sena an NDA ally on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most ambitious bullet train project saying that “it is not a dream of a common man but it is on the wishlist of PM Modi’s wealthy supporters”. The Shiv Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, launched a number of attack on Narendra Modi government and asked whether the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train project really fits the needs of the country.
The attack was launched on a day when PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone of India’s first bullet train project in Ahmedabad. “The Government is getting a bullet train without asking for it. We do not know exactly which problem will be solved by this,” the Sena chief said.
“(Former Prime Minister) Pandit (Jawaharlal) Nehru laid the foundation of several projects, from Bhakra Nangal to Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, to ensure the country advances in technology and science. All these projects were needed for the nation. Does this bullet train fit into the needs of the country?” the ally asked.
Out of the estimated Rs 1,08,000 crore cost of the project, at least Rs 30,000 crore would have to be shelled out by the Maharashtra government, it said.
“The demands for loan waiver of farmers were being made since many years. Nobody sought a bullet train. Modi’s dream is not of the common man but of the rich and industrialists,” said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP in Maharashtra and at the Centre.
Those saying that this project will create employment were speaking false, because Japan will bring everything required, right from the machinery to labourers from there for the project, the editorial said.
The high-speed train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to be completed by 2022. The train is expected to cut the journey time from the current six hours to less than three hours.
Of the 508-km route and 12 stations of the bullet train, 120 km and four stations will fall in Maharashtra. Japan has extended a soft loan for the ambitious project conceptualised by PM Modi.