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Even after Centre’s red-flag, state to resume work on Pune-Nashik semi high-speed rail

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The Maharashtra government has decided to continue with the Pune-Nashik semi high-speed rail project, despite doubts of the railway minister. The state government has now resumed the land acquisition project which was halted for the past few days.

Pune district collector Rajesh Deshmukh said that the state government has asked local administration to restart the process of land acquisition, following which it has been resumed.

“We have got instructions from the state government to restart the land acquisition for Pune-Nashik semi high-speed rail project. We have resumed the work. The Pune district administration has already paid 250 crore for the land acquisition of the project,” said Deshmukh.

Recently on October 18, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met the Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in Delhi to discuss various railway projects in the Maharahtra. At that time the central railway minister had raised various concerns and questioned the feasibility of the high-speed rail ‘at-grade’ track. Fadnavis while sharing concerns raised by Vaishnav, had said, an ‘at-grade’ track runs parallel to the surface without any elevation or depth, which increases the risk of human beings and animals crossing it.

After railway minister’s concern, the message was passed to the authorities to halt the work.

Commenting about resumption of work, Shirur MP Amol Kolhe said, “This project will help solve the traffic problem of Chakan MIDC too as commuters can use this high-speed railway. It is an important link that will connect southern and northern states. The project should not have been put on halt in the last stage as citizens are awaiting the railway for the last few decades.”

Considering the criticism, deputy CM Fadnavis had called for a meeting last week and assured that the all concerns by the central railway minister will be addressed.

Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited Managing Director Rajesh Jaiwal said, “Deputy chief minister discussed all the aspects raised by central government in the recent meeting. The project work is in progress.”

Another officer from state government requesting anonymity said, “All doubts will be addressed and the project will continue as it has received all technical nods.”

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