The proposed bullet train to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will take the longer route to include Pune and Nashik, reported Makarand Gadgil for Mumbai Mirror. This comes as a victory for Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had attracted criticism from several quarters for accepting a deal that favoured Gujarat more despite both states pooling in the same amount of money. According to the plan, Gujarat had eight stops on the rail while Maharashtra had four. Now, with the inclusion of Pune and Nashik, this arrangement will change.
Sources tell Mumbai Mirror that this change has come about as part of a bargain between Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Until now, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was opposed to a proposal by the railways to set up a terminus at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The MMRDA wanted this plot for an international financial services centre. A proposed underground terminus was also rejected by the MMRDA. The new move is set to end this stand-off and pave the way for a terminus at BKC.
Land acquisition should not be a problem for extending this high-speed rail corridor to Pune and Nashik as ample space is available along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway and the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, a section of which covers areas from Nashik district.