The Maharashtra government’s much-touted Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway received a major boost with the Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal pitching to build a high-speed railway line running parallel to the expressway.
Goyal on Monday pushed for the railway link during a foundation stone laying ceremony of the broad gauge metro project in Nagpur, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari were present.
IANS reported that Indian Railways has joined hands with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to lay a rail line along the proposed expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur – a first such coordinated move. According to a study, travel time will be drastically reduced for both road and train travellers if the two projects are integrated.
Goyal said that if the state government provided land, then a high-speed rail line could be built along the corridor, which would shorten the travel time between the two cities. “Currently, people have to suffer travelling between the two cities. If we build a high-speed rail line, then we can travel in 5 hours between the two cities. This will also benefit farmers as they would be able to bring their produce to Mumbai and other cities faster. If you give the go ahead, we can go for this project,” said Goyal.
The railway minister said that he had also spoken to Fadnavis on the issue before publicly discussing it at the function.
The Chief Minister said that the state initially had plans to build a high-speed rail link between the two cities. We were actually thinking of building a high-speed rail line along the corridor. However, we had no money as building the road project itself took a lot from us. Since you (Railways) have shown interest, we can do this. I have also been promised funds by Gadkari ji for this project,” said Fadnavis.