Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis revealed on Saturday a modification to the proposed route of the Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project. Fadnavis disclosed that the new route would incorporate Shirdi, anticipating an increase in the train's ridership.
The announcement was made during the inauguration ceremony of the renovated Mela Bus terminus of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) in Nashik.
Initially, the Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project was planned to follow the route Nashik-Sangamner-Pune, covering 235 kilometers, with an estimated project cost of Rs. 16,000 crore. The inclusion of Shirdi in the new route will extend the Nashik-Pune route by an additional 30 kilometers.
Fadnavis explained, "I had discussions with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who highlighted that implementing the project on the original route would significantly escalate costs due to extensive tunneling requirements. This issue is addressed with the new route."
He further stated that the proposal for the project, with the revised route, is currently under review by the Union cabinet. Fadnavis affirmed that once approved, the project details would be finalized promptly. Despite the added travel distance, he assured that the travel time would remain unaffected.
Discussing the Neo Metro project in Nashik, Fadnavis mentioned, "The Centre is planning a unified Neo Metro project across 15 cities to ensure sustainability. We have advocated for Nashik to be the 'pilot project,' with the state contributing over 50% of the funding."
Fadnavis also emphasized the importance of preparing a development plan for Nashik city and Trimbakeshwar in light of the upcoming Kumbh Mela. He highlighted the collaborative efforts of the state leadership in driving the development agenda, referring to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, and himself as "trimurti" dedicated to the state's progress.
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