Farmers protest for compensation for the land they provided for India’s first bullet train project


MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): India’s first bullet train project is facing resistance from farmers in Gujarat over the issue of compensation for their land to be acquired for the Rs 1.5-lakh-crore project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Recently a meeting of affected farmers was held at a village near Surat in which the farmers have decided to intensify agitation if their demands are not met.

“We are opposing the bullet train project over multiple issues including that of land acquisition process since February 2018. Due to nationwide lockdown the agitation slowed down. However, we have decided to give momentum to the ongoing agitation to ensure justice to affected farmers,”  Jayesh Patel, president of Gujarat Khedut Samaj was stated saying.

According to him, the high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is a multi-state project and hence it should be implemented as per central government norms. Unfortunately there is no uniformity in compensation being paid to farmers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Union Territory (Dadra & Nagar Haveli), he said, adding that as per central government norms farmers should be paid compensation four times higher than market rates, but in Gujarat it is not being followed.

Office bearers of Gujarat Khedut Samaj are holding meetings with affected farmers in South Gujarat to create awareness related to these issues. However, the demands of these farmers are not unaffected by politics.

Sources in National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) — the implementing agency for the bullet train project — claimed that over 60% work related to land acquisition has been completed. On this, Patel said that hardly 10% of the land is in the possession of NHSRCL.

As per NHSRCL , out of the required 1,380 hectare land, nearly 700 hectare has been acquired. A senior official said that the land acquisition process is speedier in Gujarat compared to neighbouring Maharashtra. Out of 940 hectare land in Gujarat, more than 600 hectare land is acquired as per NHSRCL sources. In the case of Maharashtra, around 80 hectare land out of 431 hectares has been acquired. As farmers of Dadra & Nagar Haveli are getting compensation as per central government norms, almost 7 hectare out of 8.7 hectare land acquired there.

The 508-km high-speed rail (HSR) will have 12 stations including two end-to-end stations — Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai and Sabarmati in Ahmedabad. Of the remaining 10 stations including Kalupur (Ahmedabad station), Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Bilimora and Vapi in Gujarat, while rest of the four Boisar, Virar, Thane and BKC fall under Maharashtra.

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