Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has blinked first in the long stand-off over the land reserved for the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and ceded it to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. An underground terminal for the bullet train and IFSC will now be accommodated on the same plot.This development comes after the Railways informed the MMRDA earlier this week that the alternate site for the terminal, near Mithi River in BKC’s G Block, was not feasible. It insisted on the same plot which the state government had reserved for IFSC.UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA, told DNA, “We were informed by the Railways that the Mithi River site is not feasible, and now we have told our consultant to prepare a new design. There will be some complications but a new design will be prepared to accommodate both.”MMRDA and the state government were reluctant to give up the plot, citing that MMRDA needed vacant land for IFSC.MMRDA had also pointed out that the land rate at BKC is very high.It wanted to monetise land parcels there to garner funds for crucial infrastructure projects under Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). However, the bullet train project is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, and on the Centre’s demand, the State changed its decision.Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train in Gujarat in September 2017. The high-speed corridor will be elevated, and bullet train will ply at 300 km to 350 km per hour. The 12 proposed stations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad are BKC, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The distance would be covered in two hours and 58 minutes.
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