On December 2, the newly crowned chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray announced that his government would be reviewing the flagship bullet train project from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

It is being speculated that the funds from this project are supposed to be diverted to give farmers a loan waiver. Out of the total budget of Rs. 1.1 lakh crore, the Maharashtra government is supposed to pay only Rs 5,000 crore. Around 81% is being sponsored by Japan International Cooperation Agency which it has extended to India as a loan for 50 years for a paltry interest rate of 0.1%. These recent decisions by the Maharashtra government to appease its coalition partners is nothing but detrimental to its development process.


The bullet train project started in 2017 when the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe met our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad and the deadline for this project was set at August 15, 2022.

This proposed bullet train would cover the 508 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a top speed of 320 km/hr. The National High-Speed Railway Corporation (NHSRCL) which is the body responsible for the construction of this project has already acquired 48% of the land required for this. There also have been many tenders floated in this regard.

The controversies do not end here. The new chief minister has also taken a decision which might have serious law and order implications. He has planned to withdraw criminal cases filed against the “activists” involved in the Bhima Koregaon violence. However, this isn’t a new trait. We have seen this happening in Madhya Pradesh as well in 2018 as soon as the Congress came to power. The Kamal Nath government has decided to withdraw almost 50,000 cases filed during the 15-year BJP tenure in Madhya Pradesh particularly those pertaining to the Dalits to appease the BSP, its coalition partner. Now it is for us to choose our representatives wisely.

About Abhinav Khare

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK. He has a lifetime collection of books and gadgets and has already pinged more than hundred cities around the globe. 

He is a tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about policy, technology, economy and philosophy from ancient India. He earned an MS Engineering from the ETH Zurich and an MBA Finance from the London Business School.