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Mumbai: Pointing out the two new Mumbai Metro corridors – Line 2 and Line 7 – Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed the Center for creating hurdles on Mumbai-related projects and questioned the usefulness of the upcoming project high-speed train.

“The first high speed train (for India) should have been launched between Mumbai and Nagpur, not between Mumbai and Ahmedabad…Tell me, how is the high speed train between Mumbai-Ahmedabad going be useful to you?” Thackeray asked.

As the Center is eager for the high-speed train project, it has taken over land intended for the International Financial Center in the Bandra Kurla complex, he said of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project.

“If you love Mumbai, why don’t you give us the land of Kanjurmar (salt pan) for the Mumbai metro project? The railway land is not being transferred for the Dharavi redevelopment project, the land is not being given to us for a pumping station,” Thackeray said here.

He added that Maharashtra contributes the highest amount of GST in the country but state dues are still not paid on time.

“We are not begging, we are only firmly demanding our share of taxes, but it is systematically refused to us”, lamented the CM.

Hitting the state’s Bharatiya Janata party leader who accused him of laying claim to Mumbai’s two new metro lines, Thackeray shot back saying if they care so much about the city then why are there roadblocks are they created for major state infrastructure projects? .

Earlier, Thackeray announced two new metro lines 2A and 7, both in the suburbs – on the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year.

In attendance were Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, other cabinet ministers of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress-Congress Party, senior officials and other dignitaries.

The two new lines will start operating daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. from tomorrow (Sunday) for commuters, with fares ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 40 for air-conditioned journeys at a speed of around 70 km/ h, said MMRDA Commissioner SVR Srinivas.

Both fully elevated, Line 2A runs from Dahisar East in DN Nagar to Andheri West via the new Link Road, and Line 7 runs from Dahisar East to Andheri East via the Western Express Highway – are partially completed.

When fully completed, Line 7 will be 33.50 km long with 29 stations and Line 2A will be 18 km long with 17 stations along the way.

Although the trains are equipped to operate with a driverless system, they will initially be operated by a contingent of around 60 male and female drivers.

The development came after almost 11 months of testing on these 2 lines since May 2021.

It may be recalled that on June 8, 2014, the city obtained the 11.50 km Mumbai Metro One elevated line – its first and only to date – connecting Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar in the east-west direction.

Lines 2A and 7 were sanctioned in October 2015 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone under the former Bharatiya Janata Party led government of (then) Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

All corridors on the two new lines should be ready within the next five to six months, officials said.

(IANS)