Congress president Rahul Gandhi does not believe in the feasibility of prime minister Narendra Modi’s bullet train project. Calling it a “magic train,” Gandhi said if at all the project materialises then it would be under the Congress regime.
“It should not be called a bullet train,” Gandhi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “It should be referred to as a magic train. It will never be constructed, if at all it is ever made it is going to be in Congress regime.”
Gandhi had earlier said India does not need a bullet train, echoing the sentiments of several other Congress leaders who dubbed the project as anti-poor.
Modi’s ambitious bullet train project is estimated to cost Rs. 1 lakh crore and it will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad. The project is expected to be completed by August 2022, but last month it hit a land acquisition roadblock in Maharashtra.
In June, it was reported that more than 70 tribal villages of Palghar district in Maharashtra have refused to give up their land for the project.
“We are facing resistance in some parts of Maharashtra but are hopeful that the construction of the project will begin as per our timeline. We are offering five times the circle rate of land as compensation to people whose land is being acquired,” a railway ministry official was quoted as saying by ET.
“Issue is with acquisition of around 200 hectares of land to be acquired in Palghar district villages. These, mostly tribal villages, are averse to any kind of development. Also, local politics is playing out even in the case of project which has so much national importance,” the official added.