State government continues to arm-twist railways over BKC land for bullet train

The state government has on its mind arm-twisting plans to end a row over allotment of its land for a bullet train terminus at Bandra-Kurla Complex. It wants Indian Railways to help it construct the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in exchange of allowing the train developers to go underground at a prime city land.

The state's move aims at recovering the financial losses that it is expected to incur once the underground facility is built. The state planners say that they will not be able to construct not be able to be able to build anything on the ground once underground train facility is built and it will not be able to create more space for the IFSC as higher buildings are not allowed in BKC.

There have been rumours that the Maharashtra Government was creating hurdles in Indian Railways plans constructed underground terminus facility for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train at BKC where it plans to construct the IFSC. The state planners feel that the Centre should have no problem in approving its proposal for extending financial help for constructing the IFSC because the proposed terminus would lead to a revenue loss of Rs 10,000 crore for the state.

The railways need some BKC land for cutting open surface to go underground. According to bullet train planners they will need 0.9 hectares to build access to the underground station whereas rest of the 28-hectare land at the BKC will still be available to build the IFSC. However, the state feels that it would not be able to be able to build anything on the ground once underground train facility is built.

"We are not opposed to bullet train terminus at BKC, but we want the developers to extend some benefit to Maharashtra as well," said a top official in the CMO on Monday. "Anyways the train will benefit Mumbai as it will connect our IFSC with the one near Ahmedabad (Gujarat International Finance Tech City which is also known as GIFT City)," he said.

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