BJP to stage agitation for Dahanu-Nashik rail link

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Thane, Jul 9 (UNI) BJP district unit (Rural) president and former MP Chintaman Wanga today threatened that the party will launch an agitation in the district, if the Central Government did not take up work on the Dahanu-Nashik rail link project on a priority basis.

Addressing a news conference here, Mr Wanga, who represents the Thane district's predominantly tribal area, said for a long period of time, the citizens of Thane have been demanding for the rail route, linking Dahanu to Nashik, which will surely transform the lives of lakhs of tribals. But the Centre has not even considered their demand and has been sleeping over the project, while approving other mega projects worth several corers of rupees for the metros and other cities, he alleged.

Senior BJP leader and former member of the National Council of the party Om Prakash Sharma was also present.

Incidentally, a couple of days ago, the Thane District Rail Passengers Association received a letter from the Western Railways headquarters, in which it had stated that the RETS (Reco.Engg.cum-Traffic Survey) for the new line between Dahanu Road-Nashik Road was completed and project report was sent to the Railway Board during March 2001, he said.

The report indicated that the length of the rail link would be 167.67 km. The gross cost of the entire project would be Rs 821.01 crore with railway electrification and without it, it would be Rs 744.92 crore.

However, the letter also stated that the project had been shelved by the Railway Board vide its letter dated May 4, 2001.

In 1997, former railway minister Ram Naik had completed a satellite survey of the project route. The rail line would be a bridge between Thane and Nashik districts and it would help in the development of rural areas, they said.

Due to lack of education and zero industrialisation, the area has largely remained undeveloped. The new line would bring in prosperity to the area, they said.

The rail line would also be beneficial to the railways, as it would also connect pilgrim towns like Trimbakeshwar, Anjani Gadh and Mahalakshmi among others and lakhs of people would visit these places every year, they pointed out.

The proposed route will pass through Dahanu, Charoti, Jawhar, Vikramgad, Mokhada, Trimbakeshwar and Nashik.

UNI XR SSS AG1717

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